St Catherine’s of Alexandria, Meath Street

On Jan 1st 2012, I attended this church for the very first time, for a remembrance mass, and sadly the next day this historic church in the heart of the Liberties was extensively damaged due to fire. The present building on Meath Street dates from 1852 although there was a church foundation there from the late 18th century. In recent times the church remained open to the public every day from 7.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and afforded elderly parishioners a warm place to go during the day as much as a place to worship. The church has long been associated with the commendable work of The Little Flower penny dinners. The church organ was incinerated in the blaze. It was one of the oldest working in Dublin and as early as 1873 there was a performance there of Haydn’s mass, The Imperial, featuring  Signors Urio and Perkin,  Mdll. Titiens and Madame Bettini.

The building was renovated in the 1930’s and around the church several busts of saints were placed, and unable to find a suitable impression of St. Kevin of Glendalough it was decided, rather strangely,  to place one of the republican martyr Kevin Barry(ref:

The extent of the fire damage, estimated to take years to repair, can be seen in this picture by Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland.


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