Church for the Defence Forces Training Centre
On the 6th May 2001 St.
Brigidís Garrison Church The Curragh was rededicated and blessed by the Most
Rev. Laurence Ryan Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin.
In celebrating the re-opening of St.
Brigidís Church we are mindful of the association of the Curragh with early
Christian Period of our history in which St.Brigid played an important role.
However there is no evidence of a church existing at any time on the plains of
the Curragh until the first permanent Military Camp was constructed in 1855,
when 2 Churches, to serve the needs of the Protestant and Catholic Communities,
were built. The plans and specifications of the churches are in the ďNarrative
of OperationsĒ by Lieut. Col. H.W. Lugard, the officer responsible for the
building of the Camp. The churches were identical in construction with external
dimensions 114í2Ē x 63í8Ē. The contract rate for each church was £2,253
but the actual cost worked out at £2,668.2s.6d each.
The two churches were located in the
centre of the Camp Ė East and West of the Clock Tower. The East Church was
Catholic and was located where the Girls National School now stands. The West
Church was Protestant and was located where the present Catholic Church was
built. Initially the churches were known as the East Church and West Church. The
writer was unable to discover when the churches were dedicated but by 1893 the
East Church was known as St. Brigidís and the West Church St. Paulís.
When the signing of the Treaty and
the withdrawal of he British Forces from the Curragh Camp on 16th May
1922, the Churches of St. Paul and St. Brigid continued to serve their
respective communities. The following year St. Brigidís Church was destroyed
by fire and St. Paulís, which had been closed for some short time, became the
new St. Brigidís Church. St. Brigidís church continued to function from the
previous St. Paulís Church until 21st February 1948. Old age and
deterioration due to dry rot had rendered the church dangerous foe use and
forced its closure. St. Brigidís moved to a new location adjacent to the
Swimming pool where it shared the old school of Equitation with the Army School
of Physical Culture. This ďtemporaryĒ arrangement was to last for eleven
years until the new Church of St. Brigidís was rebuilt and opened on 8th
On Sunday 8th November
1959, The Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Thomas
Keogh blessed and dedicated the new St. Brigidís Church, Curragh Camp.
A feature of recent refurbishment is the crafting of the wooden altar, ambo, chair and altar furniture by the qualified craftsmen from McDermott Workshops. The altar is 7í x 7í and is made from American White Oak. The base consists of two double curvatures. There are 124 individual ribs of oak, all individually glued and screwed. All tanks and high praise go to Pte. Colm Walse, Pte. Dermot Ging, Pte. Timothy Tuohy and Pte. Michael Smith.