6. R.C. Church of the Immaculate Conception

The Church of the Immaculate Conception is the work of John Hurley, architect, and John O Callaghan, builder. Its foundation stone was laid in 1860 and it was dedicated on 20th October 1867 by Paul Cardinal Cullen in the presence of many of the Irish hierarchy and a host of Munster clergy.

The church is built on elevated ground and measures approximately 160 ft. by 70 ft. It consists of nave and lateral aisles and is conspicuous for its detached campanile and high-pitched roof which is supported by columns of polished marble.

The church avenue is entered by a handsome gateway formed of pillars of hewn limestone, surmounted by richly crocketed pinnacles, a feature transferred from the old church (no. 5). According to one source, these highly ornamented gate-pillars – a primitive interpretation of medieval gothic – were carved by Charles O Connell. However, local lore attributes this work to Tobias Vanston, Mill Road, possibly under the direction of the former.

This Gothic-revival building was erected during the incumbency of the Very Rev. Archdeacon P.D. O Regan and renovated extensively by Canons O’Connell and Terry in 1912 and 2007 respectively.