History

The first parish church was built by Fr Fant on the grounds of Our Lady’s secondary school. Father Fant was a native of Galbally or Knocklong, born c. 1767. He was a relative of Archbishop James Butler of the Dunboyne branch of the Butler family. He was educated in Kilkenny and was ordained c. 1799. Fr. Fant was C.C. in Clonoulty Rossmore and P.P. in Kilbehenny Anglesboro and Bansha Kilmoyler. He was appointed P.P. to Templemore Killea in March1815 and was also given charge of Clonmore, which was annexed from Moyne Templetuohy in October 1815. He built the first parish church in the town of Templemore in 1815, on a site given to the parish by Sir John Carden in 1810. For many years the people worshipped in mud and wattle mass huts outside the town. This new church was without a belfry due to the Penal Laws, so the parish clerk rang a bell through the town to call the congregation to Mass. The present Sacred Heart Church in Templemore replaced Fr. Fant’s church in 1883. The building then became a national school, St. Colmcille’s and is now part of Our Lady’s Secondary School. Father Fant laid the foundation stone for St. James’s Church Killea and St. Anne’s Church, Clonmore in 1832. He died of fever in 1847 and was buried within the church he built. His remains were exhumed in October 1970 along with those of Fr. Denis Meagher of Borrisbeg and Fr. Richard Mackey of College Hill and re-interred in the grounds of the Sacred Heart Church.