The Shrine at Tobertynan
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The Shrine at Tobertynan
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The Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes at Tobertynan

In 1868, Edward and Eliza MacEvoy erected a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in a wood on their Tobertynan Estate.  The MacEvoy family came to the area at the beginning of the nineteenth century when Francis MacEvoy purchased Tobertynan Estate.  Francis was a noted surgeon in his time and was one of the founders of the College of Surgeons in Dublin.  When he died in 1808, the estate passed to his brother James and subsequently to James’ son Edward, who was MP for Meath from 1855 to 1874.


Edward was born on September 5, 1826 and married Eliza Browne of Mount Hazel, Co. Galway in October 1850.  It appears that although anxious to start a family, they experienced difficulty in doing so.  They came in contact with a member of the Passionist Order, Fr. Charles Houben (Houban) C.P.  Charles was born in Munstergeleen in Holland in 1821 and came in 1857 to the Church of Mount Argus, Dublin where he spent almost his entire ministry.  His prayers were widely sought by many people, and letters arrived daily in Mount Argus seeking his help.  Carriages were often sent to bring him to visit those who were sick, in their own homes.  His custom was to bless his penitents and those seeking favours with a relic of Saint Paul of the Cross, who was the founder of the Passionist Order.