Historical records about the building of Chapel published by Fr Patrick Regan, PP Lavey 1980 - 1989.

Copies of Newspaper Adverts

The Building of Lavey Chapel.

Father Regan PP(1980 - 1989) published two bulletins in 1985 containing information taken from Parish records about the building of Lavey Chapel in the 1870s.
Priests in charge at that time were the Rev James Mclaughlin, PP. and the Rev Daniel McLeer, C.C.

One bulletin listed some of the names of parishioners subscribing to the cost of building the church. Please note that Father Regan said that more names existed, he hoped to publish these also but unfortunately he died in 1989. The original bulletins gave an assessment amount opposite each name.

The other bulletin contained information about the cost of labour, material and the building of the various sections of the church.
Please note that the money system in use at that time was the British system of pounds, shillings and pence (eg £5.10.5 read as 5 pounds 10 shillings and 5 pennies). A pound equalled 20 shillings and a shilling had 12 pennies. Most of Ireland, in common with most of Western Europe, uses the Euro. Six of the nine Ulster counties use the decimal version of British pounds and pence, ie a pound equals 100 pence. I will leave it up to readers to equate the values to their own currencies.
There is also a short paragraph about a mission in 1889.

I have quoted exactly from Father Regan's bulletins.

Building Accounts

  • 1872 Tipping's (Chapel Builder) Account £1840-10-10½d

  • Architect's Account £97-12-10d

  • Lime & Sand £45-0-0d

  • Advertisements "25-0-0d

  • Seats £93-11-9½d

  • Gallery Account £119-2-10½d

  • Pulpit & Altar Rails £48-6-0d

  • Sundries Two Charity sermons & dinners, Dedication, Travelling expenses in England & Ireland collecting for the church a/c £148-1-9d.

Churchyard Accounts

  • 1876 Building walls £50-12-6d

  • 1877 Building walls £29-5-8½d

  • 1878 Building walls £13-11-1½d

  • 1879 Building walls, pillars and gate £29-6-11½d

Vestments Account

  • Candlesticks £11-0-0d

  • Long Candlesticks £2-10-0d

  • Aspergillum & Stoup for High Altar £1-7-6d

  • Antependium High Altar £4-0-0d

  • Antependium Virgin's Altar £3-3-0d

  • Linens Account £8-0-8d

  • Harmonium, Benediction Vestments £59-16-8d

The Cost of the Altars

The new altars were erected in Lavey Chapel in 1889.
The High altar was erected in Lavey church in 1889.
John McNally of Cookstown made it and finished it at £130.0.0.

Here is a copy of one of the  parish bulletins published by Fr Regan PP, dated 21st July 1985

Lavey Chapel Old Altar

The Virgin's altar of marble was made by C.W. Harrison, Great Brunswick street, Dublin at a cost of £50.0.0.

The cost of the foundation and erecting the altar was £3.0.0.

Charles McGlade of Knockloughrim left a bequest for the Virgin's Altar of £50 to this was added £3.0.0 from Parish funds.

John McNally of Cookstown then painted and decorated Saint Joseph's altar, varnished the seats and the sanctuary for £20. He also varnished the roof and painted the walls of the church, the windows and doors for £25.0.0.


Ladders and timber for Lavey church cost £5.0.0.
For sinking the foundation of the High Altar £3.10.0.

All paid at this date, March 29th, 1889.

Below is a beautiful old confession box, one each side of the chapel, men's side, women's side. Removed in 2019 renovation. Priest sat in middle, parishioners waited at each side on a kneeler. Penance dispensed as appropriate.

View of altar from under old gallery 1996

Names of people who made donations to build chapel

Notes on a Mission in Lavey October the 27th 1889

A Mission was given in Saint Mary's Lavey by the Redemptorists for a Fortnight beginning October the 20th, 1889. A Press cutting from the "Irish News" dated November the 22nd, 1889 has the following:-"For fully an hour before 6.30 o'clock pm, the time fixed for 'the close', every available part of the large and spacious church was packed and before 6.30 the churchyard and every approach thereto were filled.

Altogether the great congregation was computed to be close on 10,000 persons.




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