The Tower and Spire
Monsignor L. Marron writing in Macalla, Iml.2, Uimh.3, says “The building of the church tower and spire and the completion of the church grounds were undertaken by Dean Birmingham. Mr. Ashler, Dawson Street, Dublin was the architect and Mr. T. Mackey, Lower Camden Street, Dublin was the contractor. Work commenced in May 1895 and was completed when the Cross, the Sign of Redemption, was fixed on the summit of the spire at 3 a.m. on Good Friday 1897.
That evening the town was illuminated, and with good grounds, for the people of Carrickmacross had now a spire ‘ that could compare with any in Ireland for solidity, symmetry, grace and beauty’.
The contract for the erection of the tower and spire and the building of the boundary wall was £4,200; £400 was spent on sheeting the roof of the church; extras cost £200; and the architects fees were £250; in all £5,050. When the work was completed and paid for the debt on the church was £3,000.
On Sunday 1st May 1898 Most Rev. Dr. Owens blessed the new bell. The blessing was followed by solemn High Mass at which Cardinal Logue presided. Very Rev. T.A. Finlay SJ. preached the Charity Sermon, and the collection taken up that occasion amounted to £1,800, the equivalent of between £20,000 and £30,000 of the present day currency”.
In 1890, a welcome addition to the funds for the completion of the building came when £100 was received by Rev. P. Birmingham from the will of Mr. John Maddon, late of 28 Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin, who also donated similar sums to other local churches.
Note: The cross was placed in position by Brian Ruddy.