A new chapter for St Oliver Plunkett Church Blackrock and parish

A new chapter for St Oliver Plunkett Church Blackrock and parish

As The Most Rev Eamon Martin DD said during Sunday's Thanksgiving Mass at St Oliver Plunkett Church, the new refurbishment represents a 'new chapter' for the parish of Haggardstown and Blackrock.

Sunday's mass was also an opportunity to applaud the hardwork and dedication of those that contributed so much to the beginning of the church's new era.

Fr Padraig Keenan PP was at the forefront of these efforts and he was quick to praise those who joined him on the journey.

These included David Sheehan and Janin MacGabhann of Sheehan & Barry Architecture, Conservation & Interiors.

Special praise was given to Angela Dullaghan of the Louth County Council Conservation Office.

The main contractors Frank and Niall Duffy of MJ Duffy and Son Ltd, along with Chartered Quantity Surveyor Bernard Lynch were also mentioned by Fr Keenan, plus the many more professionals who worked tirelessly.

Working in close co-operation with the Parish and Louth County Council, concept drawings were agreed between the Conservation Officer and the architects and permission was obtained to begin the refurbishment in February of this year. The mission statement for the work could best be described as - conserve as much of what is good as possible of the old and introduce new elements as seamlessly as possible.

An example of this is the new side entrance at the church; grafted from the existing confessional structure, by its relocation out from the building and with the insertion of a new porch area.

This resolved many safety issues related to the old plan while also allowing for disabled access and general ease of movement within the building itself.

Other areas of work included the complete re-wiring, together with the addition of a new heating system.

The uncovering of mosaic flooring was an important part of the work, along with the redecoration of the interior, new altar furniture and lighting. As well as this, there was a total revamp of the Sacristy building with new facilities and the construction of a new building at the rear to house all the services and disables facilities.

Finally repaving and reordering of pedestrian access and parking next to these facilities was upgraded.