St. John's




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A Brief History

1300 years of Christian Worship

The present church is on ancient Celtic site dedicated to St Brendan (the Navigator) on the banks of the Santry River at Tonlegee Road, opposite to the site of St Brendan's Well. Inside the church there is a granite stone cross and the base millstone from a horizontal water mill, both thought to be from the 9th century. The earliest dated gravestone is from 1688.

The present church building was consecrated on 21st September 1760 by the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, Most Reverend Charles Cobbe D.D., of Newbridge House, Donabate  It was built on the site of a former ruined church. This new church was dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. In 1792, a tower and spire was erected and around 1815 the two transepts and an apsed chancel were added to increase the capacity.

In 1820, the rector was Rev Henry Moore of the family of the Earls of Drogheda., and from no later than 1837 to the 1860's, the office was held by Rev. William Maconchy, who is recorded as marrying Anna King, from Donaghmede House, in the parish church in 1823.

At that time it served a small rural community interspersed with some 'big houses'. Now 250 years later, the area has seen dramatic changes and particularly over the last 50 years, with massive urban development. Many of the former 'big houses' have become suburban areas in their own right, e.g. Darndale, Beaumont, Bonnybrook and Kilmore.

Coolock was eventually placed in Union with Raheny in 1960. The Rector of Raheny was appointed in charge of both in March 1960, and the union was completed when he became Rector of Coolock in July of that year. From then on, there was to be a rector in Raheny, a curate in Coolock (the first was appointed in 1963), two churches, and a shared school (now Springdale National School, Raheny). For over twenty years, the Select Vestries of the parishes were also united, but this ended in 1981.

The next rector of the United Parishes was Rev Wilbert Kelly, appointed in 1970, and he was succeeded in 1975 by Canon Cecil Wilson, then Rev James Carroll, followed by the Rev Norman McCausland. The current Rector is the Rev Kevin Ronne..

 Some famous Irish people from or associated with the area include the following:
     Arthur Guinness from Beaumont House,
     Catherine MacAuley (Founder of the Sisters of Mercy), Coolock House
     St. Brendan,
     Henry Grattan
     Francis Caulfield (Second Earl of Charlemont).