A vibrant and growing parish in the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora has secured a permanent parish church on the site of a former hotel.
Following eight years of utilising a local sports hall for weekly
Masses, the Good Shepherd parish in the east of Galway City hosted
Bishop Martin Drennan last Sunday for the celebration of the first Mass
in its new church, just in time for the Christmas period.
The former hotel in the parish, originally the preferred
accommodation for race-goers attending the nearby Ballybrit course is
now set to be a full parish community centre in an area that has seen a
massive increase in Catholic residents since the year 2000.
The building’s function room has been set aside and consecrated as a
church, leaving the remainder of the building available for a host of
A spokesman for the parish said that the Good
Shepherd church represented not only the cooperation between the Galway
diocese and the city council, both of which made loans and grants
available to secure and refurbish the hotel for church use, “but the
tireless efforts of the parishioners too, who not donated thousands of
euro but who also worked on a totally voluntary basis since August to
get the building ready”.
From an area originally comprising 100 houses, the Good Shepherd
parish has seen major growth and is now home to over 7,000 people, made
up of some 40 nationalities who migrated to Ireland during the Celtic
Tiger years and have since made Galway their permanent home.
Fr Martin Glynn, parish priest of the Good Shepherd, said of the
inaugural Mass: “It was an absolutely marvellous occasion and a fabulous
moment for the community.”