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About the Jubilee

St Colmcille’s Parish celebrates its jubilee this year. 1974 marked the pivotal year of the birth of what we now know as Knocklyon St Colmcille’s Parish.

 

Our Parish gets its name from “cnoc” (hill) and “linn” (pool), close to Knocklyon Castle, on the new Ballycullen road (but once a bend off the old Knocklyon road).The Ballycullen road leads up to ‘St Colmcille’s Well’, the name from which our Parish is taken.

 

Throughout the early seventies, upon the lovely green fields that formed, what we now know as Knocklyon Parish, hundreds of new houses were under construction. Knocklyon did not have a local village, around which a new surburb could expand, but it did have several historical houses, including Woodstown, Orlagh, Idrone, Castlefield, Delaford, Scholarstown and Prospect House, to name just a few. The roads in the local area curved around these landmark buildings and all have given their names to Knocklyon housing estates.

 

It was clear to the nearby Carmelite Order that a new parish was emerging and in urgent need of service. On October 1st, 1974 this Parish was placed under the patronage of St. Colmcille. Fr. Paddy Staunton was appointed as Parish Priest and Fr. Seán Dunne as Curate. They began their new mission in a rented house on Knocklyon Avenue, (then known as Firhouse Avenue).

 

Initially, the nearby Ballyroan Parish Church, was used by the newly appointed parish priest for the celebration of mass. However, they also said evening masses in the homes of parishioners, a practice that forged lifelong friendships and helped to build a sense of local Parish. Later daily mass took place in the newly built Presbytery. Following a general meeting in November 1974, at Terenure College, attended by local parishioners, the first Parish Pastoral Council was established. A major priority was to build a parish church in Knocklyon and to secure the funding for that goal. With the huge new housing developments that was ongoing throughout, what we now know as Knocklyon, one of the major builders, McInerny’s, donated their site-office-canteen as a temporary church building, and on December 15th, 1974, the first “parish” Mass was celebrated in that canteen space. It is still remembered with affection, along with several weeks of mass services held outside on the green opposite the temporary church, during the long hot summer of 1975.

 

As the houses were built, the mass congregation grew and a larger centre became necessary. The Parish Committee approached Archbishop’s House and secured permission for a temporary Church, which was constructed and opened on August 10th, 1975, when the first official parish mass was celebrated in our new St. Colmcille’s Church. This newly built, temporary Church also became a hub for the growing community. Knocklyon Parish had arrived! In 1979 Pope John Paul II on his visit to Ireland blessed the Foundation Stone of our new Church of St Colmcille, which was opened in April 1980.

 

As the population of the newly developing Parish grew, families and children arrived. The need for local amenities emerged and local schools were needed. In 1975 a seven-acre site on Idrone Avenue was purchased at a cost of £36,000 for a Primary school in the Knocklyon area. The Carmelite Order took legal responsibility for running the school under their patronage. The 16-classroom school was completed in July 1976 and took its first pupils for September of that year. The school was officially opened in March 1977 by the Taoiseach, Mr Liam Cosgrave who lived on Scholarstown Road. In 1982, a second building was constructed and the original building became the junior school and the second new building became the senior school. The young children went in one end and came out at senior level at the other.

 

However the initial absence of a Knocklyon village at the centre of our community resulted in the area being spread across adjoining areas,Templeogue, Ballyroan, Scholarstown, Ballyboden, Ballycullen, Firhouse - so residents were actively encouraged to use our new community name of ‘Knocklyon’ as their address. In addition we needed a Knocklyon Community school to build a community ethos among our new young local population. A long and difficult campaign over 20 years to build a second-level Community School was finally successful and it opened in 2000 AD. The fight for our community identity forged the unique spirit that exists today in Knocklyon today. Its been a long and successful 50 years.

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