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Baptismal Font in St. Michael's Church, KillBaptismal Font in St. Michael's Church, Kill

On the opening of the new church in Rathmolyon on July 14, 1968, Kill Chapel was closed and subsequently most of the furniture and artefacts were dispersed.  On its deconsecration, all of the sacred vessels were transferred to Rathmolyon Church.  The baptismal font and the three holy water fonts were transferred for use in the new church.  The statues of Our Lady and St. Joseph with the Child Jesus were also moved there.  The statue of the Sacred Heart was stored in the vestry of the new church, whilst the statue of St. Michael the Archangel was taken to Kill National School.  One of the oil lamps was later converted for use as a sanctuary lamp in Enfield Oratory.  Most of the seats were sold for £1 each.  Three of them were placed around the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in the wood at Tobertynan.  At the request of the former curate of the parish, Fr. Timothy Buckley, the large stained glass window was taken down in sections by Sean Quinn and moved to Fr. Buckley’s new parish in Castletown-Kilpatrick.  His intention was to remove the lead and re-use the glass.  Some of the marble from the altar was later used in Jordanstown Church.  The statue of Our Lady that once stood on the roof of the chapel was at a later stage rescued from a pile of rubble at the rear of the chapel by Caffrey Farrell, who restored it and enclosed it in a glass case for protection.  It is now in the possession and care of his family.

 Killl Graveyard, across road from old Kill ChurchKilll Graveyard, across road from old Kill Church

For a period after its closure, Kill Chapel was used as a community hall before being sold into private ownership, with a sale of agreement with the new owner, Michael McHugh being signed on February 17, 1973.  As no deeds were available, it was necessary for the Church to establish title and prove long possession or as is otherwise known, squatters’ rights.  Locally born solicitor Michael Regan, of the legal firm Regan, McEntee and Partners, Trim, had sworn affidavits signed by local people who were of extraordinary character and probity.  Michael Ennis who lived within a stone’s throw of the chapel and William (Billy) McGrath, whose mother had taken care of the chapel for many years, gave testimony that for time immemorial, Kill Chapel had been used as a place of worship by priests and people.  The sale marked a final chapter in the history of Kill Chapel.

 

In his sermon at the opening of the new church in Rathmolyon in 1968, locally born priest Fr. P.J. Regan spoke of the chapel and said:

Through such loving care by Priest and people, the old Church down in the valley was maintained serviceable, neat and clean for the past 200 years.[19]



Sources:

[1] Beryl F.E. Moore, M.B., M.A., Rathmolyon, County Library, Navan, 1972, p.1.

[2] Olive C. Curran, History of the Diocese of Meath 1860-1993, Criterion Press, 1995, Volume II, pp. 453, 454.

[3] Rev. John Brady, A Short History of the Parishes of the Diocese of Meath 1867-1937, p. 188.

[4] Rev. Anthony Cogan, The Diocese of Meath, Ancient and Modern, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1992, Volume II, p. 182.

[5] ibid., Volume II, p. 187.

[6] ibid., Volume II, p. 207.

[7] ibid., Volume III, p. 310. 

[8] ibid., Volume III, p. 316.

[9] A map of the county of Meath in the province of Leinster in Ireland, William Larkin, 1812.

[10] Fowler Estate map No. 18, National Library, Dublin.

[11] Brady, op. cit., p. 188.

[12] Chronicon of Enfield Parish.

[13] Cogan, op. cit., p. 382.

[15] Laura Watson (Dunne), Harlockstown, Dunboyne.

[16] ibid.

[17]Chronicon of Enfield Parish.

[18] ibid.

[19] Meath Chronicle Saturday, July 20, 1968.

Census of Ireland 1901, National Archives, Dublin.

Tithe Applotment books, 1825, County Library, Navan.

Valuation of tenements, parish of Rathmolyon, Griffiths Valuation, 1854.

 

Gratitude is extended to the following local people for their assistance in compiling the information in this article: Vincent Grehan, the late Christy O’Loughlin, Betty Maguire, Michael Higgins, the late Mattie Higgins, Packy Maguire, Billy Carey, Oliver Cooney, Paddy Farrell, Bernadette Kenny, Michael Heffernan, John Greville, Ted Greville, the late Jimmy Harnan, Anne Mooney, Michael Regan, Sean Quinn, Jimmy Dunne, John Brady, Ann Sweeny, Pat Reynolds (Melia) and Kit Loughlin.