In 1787 a lease for a Catholic Church at Riverside was secured. However it was 25 years later before the church was built. The foundation stone was laid on the site in 1813 and can be seen in the porch of the church. The building of cut stone was in the gothic revival style and fronted the mall. The original gothic church had become too small by the 1920’s and a new church incorporating the old gothic facade was built on the mall in 1932, the year of The Eucharistic Congress.
In 1959 the old gothic façade was demolished to make way for the facade and the new St Mary’s was consecrated in 1961. In 1973 the altar and sanctuary were remodelled to conform to liturgical recommendations of Vatican II. The altar is made of Carrera marble, the mosaic Stations of the Cross along the walls are designed by Samuel McGolderick and date from 1930. The windows provide many examples of the best of Irish stained glass by Harry Clarke and Patrick Pye.
By Bernie O'Malley