Leaking church roof forces parish to hold Christmas Mass and services in primary school

By Aideen O'Flaherty

ONGOING roof damage has forced a Clondalkin parish to hold their Christmas Mass in a nearby primary school.

The parishioners of the Church of the Transfiguration in Bawnogue have faced ongoing difficulties with attending Mass in their local church as a result of the church’s persistently leaking roof, which in the past year has driven the church to using wheelie bins to contain the leaking rain water.

Bawnogue Church 03 22 December 2016

A parishioner told The Echo that quite often the rain was “heavier inside [the church] than outside”, and that the Archdiocese of Dublin only intervened in the years-long roof issues earlier this month after the sunny weather in September caused the membrane on the roof to start shrinking and breaking.

Now parishioners are forced to go to their Christmas Mass in Scoil Nano Nagle, a nearby primary school, while long-awaited repair work gets underway on the church building.

Fr Brian Starken, the parish priest for Bawnogue, told The Echo that at one stage the leaking roof “was so bad that you could hear the water falling down”.

“I remember telling the parishioners to close their eyes and imagine they were up the Dublin mountains beside a running stream.”

When discussing the roof repairs, Fr Starken commented: “The Diocese very kindly came to our assistance to get the roof replaced.”

The priest further added that it’s “a little bit of a pity” that the Mass services cannot be held in the church building over Christmas, and he hoped that the church would be fit for purpose in time for Confirmation services next year.

A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Dublin told The Echo she wasn’t aware of any delays to repairs being carried out on the roof, and she added: “The work has started on the roof, and [the parish] is delighted about it.”

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