Large Dublin church to be demolished

High running costs and falling attendance lead to demolition of Finglas church.

The Church of the Annunciation in the north Dublin suburb Finglas is to demolished to make way for a smaller church and social housing.

The church, one of the largest in the Dublin archdiocese, was constructed in 1967 under the formidable Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, at a time when building enormous new churches was in vogue.

However a steady decline in Mass attendance and high running costs have resulted in the decision to demolish the structure, which holds 3,500 worshippers, in favour of a new building which would accommodate 350.

Parish priest Father Éamann Cahill said the church had suffered extensive structural problems in recent years, in particular a leaking roof, and that the demolition of the building had the support of local parishioners and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Fr Cahill said the new church would have meeting rooms for pastoral activities, offices and a cafè, with plans being drawn up by Dublin-based Coda Architects.

In addition there would also be social housing and accomodation for the elderly built on the sprawling Cappagh Road site which is near Dublin Airport.

Inaugurated on 8 October 1967, the modern Church of the Annunciation replaced an earlier tin church which was removed from the site and sold to a farmer.