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St. Mary’s Cathedral

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St. Mary’s Cathedral

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St. Mary’s Cathedral towers amongst the clouds with a backdrop of Killarney’s glorious lakes and mountains. Visitors are welcome to attend mass and/ or to explore this wonderful church at leisure. A brief history of how the Cathedral was constructed can be read below.

Commissioned in 1840 by a local fundraising committee, the design of St. Mary’s Cathedral was borne from the wonderful mind of Agustus Welby Pugin, despite only having raised £800 pounds at the time. Pugin gained inspiration from the ruins of the ancient Ardfert Cathedral which is particularly evident in the slender triple lancets in the east and west walls. Despite having to make funding appeals across Ireland and the US as the funds were so low, the foundations were laid in 1842. Construction then ceased for five years in 1848 due to the Great Famine. On succeeding Pugin, J.J McCarthy was appointed as architect from the beginning of 1853 when construction once again resumed. Separately, architects Ashlin and Coleman from Dublin constructed the nave and spire. Following two years, the cathedral was debt free despite the costs rising to £20,000, significantly complete and ready to welcome those of worship.

Due to renovations in 1973 by Ray Carroll of Dublin and Daniel J. Kennedy of Tralee, the interior was both gutted and greatly damaged; reconstruction took place from 1972 until 1973 incurring a cost of £278,500. The approach by the two architects was nothing short of radical, which resulted in none of the former interior remaining, apart from a few small areas.

Mass Times:

  • Saturday: 6.15pm
  • Sunday: 8.00am, 10.30am & 12 noon
  • Weekdays: 10.30am & 6.15pm
  • Mass of Memorial: Monday 6.15pm
  • Months Mind Remembrance Mass: Friday 6.15pm

Contact information

St. Mary's Cathedral, Killarney, Ireland.

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