For the past number of years extensive repair and restoration work has taken place in the Sacred Heart Church. This has included the cleaning and restoration work on the Pipe Organ. The organ was rededicated to the memory of Fr James Foley whose friends in America funded this work.
The repair and restoration in the church itself was planned to take place in several phases. This began with repair to masonry work to the rear of the sanctuary. The second phase was the restoration of the Stained Glass Windows. Third phase included work to relocate the Baptismal Font from St Mary’s side Altar to the Nave of the church in front and left of Altar. In this phase there is also an upgrading of fire safety through provision of a new porch area in the sacristy which could act as an exit in event of emergency for those in the ‘top’ section of the church. This phase also includes rewiring and plumbing throughout church bringing the church into line with best health and safety practice and upgrade fire safety (so important after the very recent destruction of St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford) The past few winters have seen the aging heating system come under more sustained pressure with the old metal piping corroded and the heating not being as efficient as it could be. The final phase is the construction of an indoor wheelchair accessible toilet with meeting and ancillary rooms to one side transept and the provision of an Adoration Chapel to the other.
This work has continued at a pace and great thanks are due to the many people who have helped through financial donations and also the great work of the many skilled craftspeople involved. The repair to stonework and repointing to back of sanctuary is complete as is the restoration of the Stained Glass windows. Final work of placing wire protective grills is underway and will be complete shortly.
During work it was discovered that extensive repairs were needed in the belfry. The work to secure and repair the bell and the belfry has been completed with the installation of supports and safety ladders and also repair to plaster work and painting.
Planning has been granted for the next phase of bringing the Sacred Heart Church into line with fire safety regulation is due to begin in mid June with tenders underway. It is hoped this work of relocating Baptismal Font, complete rewiring, provision of new lighting and new plumbing throughout will be complete by mid August.
Again we would like to thank all those who have so generously contributed to these works through your continued financial contributions through weekly collections, support of the Parish Lotto and of course the many people who have made personal donations.