Our Past: Dalkey seems to be one of only a small number of rural Scandinavian settlements recorded in the country.As subsequently the port of Dublin, Dalkey is often of particular interest to researchers. The medieval town appears to have been defended by a bank and ditch at least since the 15th century . The township is recognised on maps from at least 1600.
Our Catholic Church was dedicated on 26th September 1841. It is a simple Gothic Revival structure in local granite and render with square bell tower. It is on Castle Street opposite the 10th century church of St Begnet, a woman and abbot, to whom the church on Dalkey Island is also dedicated.
After St Begnet’s fell into disuse, Loughlinstown, with a chapel at Cabinteely, was the main parish for Roman Catholics nearby. By the beginning of the 19th century the Catholic population of Dalkey increased due to quarrymen and workmen providing granite for the pier at Dun Laoghaire. The Dublin to Kingstown Railway in 1834 brought more worshippers. Canon Sheridan, Parish Priest of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), called a meeting of Dalkey residents in March 1840 following which a church in Dalkey was erected. Land opposite St Begnet’s was leased from Mr Thomas Connolly. Later his son, Canon Connolly, P.P. Harrington Street, donated the site to the Church, which consisted only of the present nave; the altar where the gallery is today and the main door 30’ back from Castle Street. The humble walls were pebbles, mortar and earth, coated in plaster.
As Dalkey grew, Fr George Harold in the 1880s decided to extend the Church out to Castle Street and relocate the sanctuary to the front. Newly prosperous, we used cut granite to build the new transepts and sanctuary, and added a handsome bell tower. The roof was raised, and a fan-vaulted ceiling were installed. A gallery was constructed with a two-manual organ by Dublin organ-builder, John White.
The Last Supper in marble relief on the front of the altar is much loved. Two angels by Mayer of Munich flank the reredos. Side shrines with statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart in white marble are dated 1897. Marble panels in the sanctuary were added in 1932.
Over the altar are stained-glass windows of French origin. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the patron of the parish is in the centre. St Patrick and St Brigid, the patrons of Ireland flank her to left and right. These were restored by Abbey Stained Glass of Kilmainham in 1991.
We have a fine marble baptismal font, facing it hangs a painting of the Baptism of Christ executed in Rome in 1911 by G. Bravi.
The plaster Stations of the Cross were restored to their original colour in 1991 by Sean Mc Donnell. He sculpted the timber relief of Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) who spent the autumn of 1854 living in Dalkey while establishing the Catholic University in Dublin.
We renovated the church in 1991 for its 150th year, porches and sacristy were re-ordered.
The Icon of the Lady Abbot, our own Dalkey saint, St Begnet, written by artist and iconographer Colette Clarke, was installed in 2010.
On the death of Canon Sheridan, P.P. Kingstown in 1862 the parish was divided into Kingstown/Monkstown and Glasthule/Dalkey /Ballybrack with Fr John Harold (1862- 1868) as Parish Priest of the latter. A marble plaque over the sacristy door marks his burial. His brother Fr George Harold later served as Parish Priest (1880 -1894). Their names live on in the Harold Schools in Glasthule and Dalkey.
In1927 Dalkey was separated from Glasthule and made a parish in its own right.
Clustered Parishes in the 21st Century.
Since 2010, our Dalkey parish is part of a cluster with Glasthule, Sallynoggin and Dun Laoghaire, all in the Dun Laoghaire Deanery of the Archdiocese of Dublin.
A closed loop induction system for those using hearing aids is in operation in the church. Please turn your hearing aid control to the T setting.
Masses can be heard on local radio. Radio receivers capable of receiving signals in the 27.6000 to 27.9950 MHz band are required. This is outside the bandwidth of normally available radios. Suitable radios are available for purchase from the Parish Office. The system operates under the ComReg License No. LWS 1008 at an assigned frequency of 27.73125 MHz.
The Church car park is operated by PARKRITE. Pay and Display with clamping is in operation in the church car park Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, Pay and Display is not necessary during church services. Please take particular note that if you are going shopping after Mass, or socialising after a wedding, to remove your car from the car park after the service, or pay the appropriate parking fee.
Overnight parking is not permitted. The car park closes at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
A two way traffic flow system is in operation at the front part of the car park. Users are requested not to park cars which would extend beyond the yellow lines and congest the flow, but rather to park longer cars in the rear portion of the car park where a one way clockwise flow system is in operation. Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Wheelchairs, mobility impaired
Reserved parking for persons with mobility difficulties and wheelchair users is available at the front of the car park, and in the rear car park, and is clearly marked.
Access to the church grounds for mobility impaired is barrier free. On the sacristy side of the church, access can be gained via the car park. On the opposite side, access is available directly from Castle St. At the rear of the church, access is available via Kilbegnet Close. All four entrance doors to the church are wheelchair friendly.