Church of Ireland


  1. julie Marshall
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    St Catherine’s Church will be having an Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at 7am on 27th March 2016. All are welcome and we are hoping the stained glass windows will make this a special event. Tea/coffee and toast will be available after at the Visitor Centre.

    We are in the process of creating an event to fund-raise for the restoration of the stained glass windows and Church. Look out on the web-site and in the local news for up-coming events.

    At Christmas, there was a Carol Service with the local school helping to make this special with tea afterwards. This was the first service at the Church for 21 years so many thanks to everyone who helped, especially Peter Kilkenny and Teresa Lennon. We expect the Christmas Carol Service to be a yearly event. Thank you to everyone who came along.

    We will be hosting talks on Restoring Old Buildings and Restoration Projects at St Catherine’s Church during Heritage Week from 21st August 2016.

    Contact Julie Marshall on 086 082 6809 or John Moran on 087 629 0718
    Rev’d Linda Frost on 086 601 0895

  2. julie Marshall
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    1989 Repair & Restoration of Fenagh Church

    As you look at the Church, the pillar supporting the gate on the right was originally ear-marked by the Supervisor from Sligo to be dismantled so that access for the Portakabin for the FAS workers could be brought in. Instead, the wall on the right was dismantled and rebuilt with the stepping stones and vertical stones on the top of the wall being added. The stone on top of the pillar to the left was also repaired. As you enter the grounds the large stone on the right was brought in by Willie Bohan.

    All the land was extremely overgrown and took a lot of work and bonfires to clear. The boundary walls were cleared and repaired and the vertical stones put on. They also made the step at the rear of the Church at the entry to the Vestry. The front door was new and donated by the Knott family whose burial plot is to the left of the Church.

    All the doors and fittings are original. The bell was restored. Because some of the slates were missing, replacements were sourced from Donegal. The fireplace in the Vestry was donated by Ivan Price, Ardrum, Ballinamore. Trees cut down in the grounds were made into planks at the sawmills in Mohill and used to replace purloins in the roof. The other roof beams were cleaned, restored and replaced. The pine trees were coniferous pine, and had a very straight grain with no knots.

    Killian Mitchell was a carpenter from Drumreilly and he made the chairs and stools in the knave and also the dresser in the Vestry. The stencilling was replaced by making a template from the original and these are still in the Church. Sean was advised how to do the work on the window which he undertook by using glass from Reynolds Hardware in Mohill. They also supplied all the wood for the floors.

    A book about the restoration project was written by Padraig Leyden, the current Principle of Ballinamore School.

    Sean knew a lot of the people who are buried in the Churchyard: Mr Willie Booth was involved in the project and did the purchasing of supplies. Mr Lipsett was the caretaker from near Lawderdale. Letitia Greer came from Gorvagh, and donated €100 towards the restoration project and the same towards the book. She passed away at a considerable age in Aras O’Carolan leaving no relatives.

    In 2015, a successful application to the Heritage Council meant that the wooden floor could be replaced in the church.

    Work started on 10th August and was completed on 25th 2015 with the pews being returned. When the old floor was removed, it was found that although the floor was rotten and in a worse condition than originally thought, it was quite dry underneath. It had always been believed that the Church had internal stone walls, but by removing the floor, it was found that the walls are actually made of lathe and plaster. There are holes in the joints along the floor, and air flows through these, up behind the walls then out through vents at the top of the wall. These are disguised in the wooden panelling along the top of the wall, where it meets the roof. It is a bit like a modern-day dry-lined wall, and the 1780 (when the Church was built) response to the damp that we can still experience in modern buildings today.

    Because the vents were blocked, they were no longer functioning to keep the walls dry, hence the deterioration of the building. In addition, it was found that the vent in the stone wall outside had been removed and an electric box for a non-existing supply had been put in place. This effectively stopped the ventilation system for keeping the walls dry from working. The box has been removed and a galvanised steel grill has been installed thereby enabling the ventilation system to be restored. It is now hoped that the Church will be damp-free. The ventilation grilles that were thought to ventilate the Church but were found to actually be attached to the still functioning heating system.

    As the Church is a protected building, certification had to be obtained for the Heritage Council grant from Leitrim County Council prior to any work being undertaken. So at the same time we applied for the work to be done on the floor, it was felt that an effort should be made to repair the stained glass windows that were damaged and paint the interior, and this work will also be covered by that documentation. The Church will be left for a year to dry out slowly and naturally as using a dehumidifier would cause damage to the lime plaster. Then it will be painted, using lime-wash paint as modern paints do not allow the lime plaster and lathe walls to breath.

    We have been extremely fortunate with the choice of workman for this job. He brought knowledge and experience which has enabled us to sort out the ventilation problems that had not been addressed previously. There is no price that can be attached to having the right person for the right job, and we are very thankful to Pat Conefry who undertook the work for us.

    It is only because of the Heritage Council grant that the floor could be replaced and the problems with damp in the building have been found and rectified. A small additional expenditure will mean that the building is no longer damp (despite the poor weather this year!) and it is hoped that this will stop the decline of the Church structure. The Heritage Council Grant also means that the Church can now be part of Community events and once again hold services in the Church.

    We very much appreciate all those who have helped to ensure that the Fenagh Church will be able to function again. Those who worked on the Committee to run the FAS scheme and the original work at the Church. To the Visitor Centre, Oliver Doonan who maintains the grounds, Peter Kilkenny and Nicola Kearns who has undertaken the Heritage Tours on our behalf and the Heritage Council whose initial funding will mean that this building can return to the use of the community. By having the Church restored, hopefully the community of Fenagh feel that they will not be left with another ruined building. By hosting events that has appeal across the community we hope to gain support to help maintain the Church.

    People can keep up-to-date about the progress of the restoration of Fenagh Church and any events to be held through the Fenagh Visitor Centre web-site and also the new Church of Ireland South Leitrim Group of Parishes web-site We can be contacted by email on

  3. Richard Kells
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I am in the process of working on my family tree. The Kells family from Killydrum near Newtowngore.I am interested in finding any information on a Sarah Ann Knott born 1851 and died March 26th 1923.The records show was buried in your churchyard. She was married to a James Kells and had 3 children Mary Jane kells,Sarah Elizabeth Kells and Richard David Kells (My grandfather)
    I would like to know any information on Sarah Anne Kells nee Knott and what happened to her 2 daughters

  4. Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Richard, I have forwarded your query to a committee member.
    Kind regards
    Teresa Lennon

  5. Hilary Ellis
    Posted July 10, 2018 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Hello, I would like to confirm that the Church of Ireland parish records held in local custody for Fennagh go back to 1809 for births, marriages, and deaths.

    A cousin visited the Rev. Scott and was under the impression these records do not exist, but the Church of Ireland catalogue lists the Fennagh/Fenagh BMD registers as dating back to 1809.

    I would very much appreciate confirmation before I hire a local researcher to check these records. Thank you!

  6. Posted July 10, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink


    This is Fenagh, Co Leitrim – do you mean Fenagh, Co Carlow records ??

    Kind regards
    Teresa Lennon

  7. Rebecca Parke
    Posted May 3, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Hello, I am doing some research into my family history, I found that my great-grandfather, John Nixon Parke, grew up in Fenagh according to the census, my family and I were wondering of there were any parish records that I could access that would provide us with more information about his family, in particular his brothers and sisters. Thank you.

  8. Posted May 8, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Rebecca you could start your search by contacting the local Genealogy Centre in Ballinamore at

    Kind regards
    Teresa Lennon