Moygownagh Church in Co. Mayo

Samuel Lewis, writing in 1836, spoke of the "R.C. Chapel in Magaunagh" as being "small and in bad repair". This church stood on the road-side about half way between the present church gate and Mitchell’s shop. A holy water stoup belonging to this church was preserved beside it for many years.

The present church was built in 1846 and it is situated in Ardvarney townland. The Griffith Valuation (1856) records that the "R.C. chapel and yard" were leased from Andrew Brown, being 5 roods in area and having a valuation of £15-15-0, but exempt from taxes or rates.

There was a stone placed over the entrance of the church which bore the following inscription: "This is the house of God and Gate of Heaven. Erected to the greater glory of God, A.D. 1846". After a porch was erected about 1937, this stone became hidden from view. It was removed in 1973 and inserted in the wall near the priest’s graves.

Extensive reconstruction and alteration works were carried out at this time also by Fr. Michael Gilroy. The reason for the porch being erected in 1937 was that the door faced the prevailing wind and around that time a severe storm blew in the door and damaged the roof.

By Gretta Lynott