Parish History

Parish History

Clontarf – A look back in time.

550 A chapel of wood is built by St. Comgall. His feast day is 10th May.

1172 Henry II grants the land of Clontarf to the Knights Templars, who build in stone, and provide for a priest.

1309 The Order is suppressed and their property given to the Knights of St. John. This name becomes associated with Clontarf.

1542 The Prior leases the lands to a William King before the Dissolution of the monasteries. As a layman he may continue to pay for the services of a catholic priest for the area.

1600 The Clontarf lands are granted to a supporter of Queen Elizabeth I, by name Geoffrey Fenton. But his male heirs die out.

1641 The English Civil War, allows Oliver Cromwell to pay his soldiers with grants of land. But John Blackwell who received Clontarf Castle and Estate, sells it all on to John Vernon.

1667 Local fair days are fixed for 10th April and 6th October.

1800’s The Vernon family continue to own the Castle until recently.

The original chapel is abandoned, when two churches are built, both called after St. John the Baptist. One Church of Ireland, and the other Catholic. Then the Old Town Hall was purchased and converted to a chapel of ease, dedicated to St. Anthony.

Up to 1878 the parish of Clontarf included Fairview, Drumcondra, Glasnevin, Larkhill, Marino, Donnycarney, Coolock, Artane, Killester and Raheny.

In the 1950, the Sisters of Charity donated the land in their back garden, for our present parish church of St. Gabriel. Its title was chosen to balance the port of Dublin with a church of St. Michael the Archangel on the south side, with our church on the north.

In 1956 St. Gabriel’s church is blessed and opened. Not until 1966 did it become a parish church.

The cost of this new venture was set at ₤57,000 plus ₤1,500 for the new girls’ school at Belgrove. Great efforts were made by priests and parishioners to meet such a debt, at a time of double figure interest rates.

The Church celebrated its Golden Jubileee with the renovation of the Altar area in 2006.

In 2009 St. Gabriel’s Parish was clustered with St. Anthony’s and St. John’s parishes.

In 2016 the parish celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the Parish and Sixty years of the Church of St Gabriel.

Click to view page of celebration activities.

Share by: