There are ruins of a medieval church at Bredagh on a rock outcrop at the edge of the town. The foundations of the east wall are to be found in the church of Ireland graveyard. In the year 1770 a mud-walled chapel was built in the townland of Cornaughy. A plaque with the inscription ‘site of Cornaughy chapel 1770-1839’ was erected in the Jubilee Year 2000. This chapel was burned and was replaced by another chapel in the townland of Mullinadara which in turn was blown down by the Big Wind on the 6 January 1938. Fr. Patrick McGauran, was parish priest of his native parish of Carrigallen from 1824 to 1859. He lived in Killahurk and for a few years offered Mass in a barn there – behind his house. It was he who facilitated the building of the present St. Mary’s Church. It was built in 1846 on raised ground just outside the town. It was built cruciform in shape with gothic windows and good substantial stone walls. It was re-roofed in 1931. (From :- “Carrigallen” Churches of the diocese of Kilmore, Liam Kelly)
In May 1862, a great Dominican Mission was held in Carrigallen, and with the proceeds received on the closing date, the Chapel was ceiled – lath and plaster, with some beautifully ornamented circles etc. the tiled floor was also put in. It had a clay floor up to 1862. The seats were also put in. In the days of Rev. Terence Murray (1879-1894) the building was overhauled and new stations of the Cross erected. The bell was presented by Mr. McLoughlin, and his half brother Mr. Pat Smyth presented the Sanctuary Lamp.
Rev. Philip Smith P.P. (1919-1933) put a new roof on the building and also the present ceiling. The Gallery was erected in 1929. The Bell was moved over to the S.E. corner of the Chapel – on iron pillars, as it had previously been in a small belfry over the main door. (From:- “The Roman Catholic Church” A History of Carrigallen, by Patrick Maguire N.T.)
Errew graveyard is an ancient burial ground and is still in use. Tradition has it that St. Patrick blessed this place before leaving the area. There are some crudely cut but interesting headstones dating back to 1800’s or before. Watch out for the signpost to Errew graveyard on the Arva-Carrigallen road 5Km from Carrrigallen, (off R203).
One of the earliest inscriptions that is still legible reads: IHS XX PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF SIBY GRAHM HO DEPARTED HER LIFE IN THE YEAR 1781 AGE 27.
(Francie Murray 2014).
The most recent improvements (2011) were the new limestone steps, tarmac access and bell restoration. A major refurbishment of the stained glass windows is currently in progress (2013) Fr. John Early would appear to have been the first parish priest in Carrigallen, he was appointed in 1459. – (Francie Murray, 2014)
St. Patricks Well, Carrigallen.
This Holy Well is situated in the townland of Aughawillan. St. Patrick is believed to have journeyed from Tara to Magh Slecht, according to J.P. Dalton (R.I.A) and his view is that a line of wells (Tobar Patricks) connect Granard and Carrigallen and if the line is continued would lead to Darraugh Fort in the Parish of Templeport. This fort is said to be the site of Crom Cruach.
Wells were important halting places for those on a journey and people used them also as places of worship before Christianity arrived, which is why St. Patrick blessed them in the areas he visited. St. Patrick’s Well was restored to celebrate Jubilee 2000. Over 300 people took part in a pilgrimage on Sunday 21st May, 2000. It began in St. Mary’s Church and continued to St. Patrick’s Well over the old Mass path and from there to Errew graveyard. St. Patrick’s well (Tobar Naomh Pdraig) is signposted one mile from Carrigallen on the Longford road and also on the Arva road.
From:- “The Restoration of St. Patrick’s Well”, by Francie Murray, Jubilee 2000, Rita Reynolds, Anne O’Malley, Teresa Percival.
And “Holy Wells – Tubberpatrick”, A History of Carrigallen by Patrick Maguire, N.T.
Margaret of New Orleans.
Margaret Haughery (nee Gaffney), a noted Christian and philanthropist, was born in 1813 in the townland of Tully South, in the parishof Carrigallen. She emigrated to the United States and settled in New Orleans. Her husband and child died when she was only 23 years old and she devoted the rest of her life to the care of the poor in the city of New Orleans. She had a keen business sense and bought land and a steam bakery to provide food for orphanages where people of every religion were cared for. When she died in 1882 she was given a state funeral and a large statue was erected in her honour with the one word Margaret – written on it. A Carrigallen woman thus became known as ‘ Margaret of New Orleans’. (From:- “Carrigallen”Churches of the diocese of Kilmore, by Liam Kelly).
Margaret emigrated along with her parents (William & Margaret) her brother Kevin and younger sister Kathleen to the United States and settled in Baltimore. Shortly afterwards a yellow fever epidemic struck and her parents and her sister Kathleen died and Kevin disappeared. Margaret was all alone, however, a Mrs. Richards whom they had met on the ship’s journey took her in. Margaret later married Charles Haughrey. On medical advice they moved to the warmer New Orleans. They had a baby daughter Frances but Margaret’s happiness was short lived because her husband and daughter died. She was all alone at the age of 23.
(From:- Margaret of New Orleans, Birthplace, Tully,Carrigallen. Brochure).
A local committee have undertaken and built ‘Margaret’s cottage’ on the site of her birthplace and this is open to the public during the months of July and August. A like minded committee in New Orleans are also pursuing her beatification. A longer and more detailed account can be found on the Margaret website www.margretsbirthplace.com
Also there is a Facebook page dedicated to Margaret and you may join by searching the Facebook window for:
Birthplace of Margaret of new Orleans (Carrigallen Facebook page)
Beloved Margaret Haughery of New Orleans (New Orleans Facebook page)