Our Chapel of Ease is dedicated to Blessed Margaret Ball, born Margaret Bermingham about 1515 in Skreen, Co. Meath. She married Bartholomew Ball, a prosperous and important merchant in Dublin.
As this was a time of religious persecution, It was well known that Margaret provided ‘safe houses’ for any bishops or priests who might be passing through Dublin. She would often invite her son Walter to dine with them on these occasions, hoping for his reconversion.
Walter Ball was elected Mayor of Dublin. He had his mother arrested and drawn through the streets on a wooden hurdle, as she could no longer walk, to Dublin Castle where she was to be imprisoned for the rest of her life. The conditions in jail were extremely harsh and she suffered greatly and died in prison in 1584. Blessed Margaret Ball is one of the 17 Irish Martyrs and her feast day is celebrated on the 30th January.
The new Chapel was blessed and dedicated to Blessed Margaret by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Desmond Connell on the 14th December 1994, making Christmas 1994 a very memorable one for the parishioners of Santry.
Concelebrating the first Mass with His Grace in the presence of a packed congregation were, Monsignor Owen Sweeney (Former P.P.) whose persistence over a number of years, brought the dream of a local place of Catholic worship, for the people of Santry to fruition. Fr. Joe Kelly, who succeeded Monsignor Owen Sweeney as Parish Priest, zealously pushed the project until finally on December 14th, 1994 we had our own Chapel in Santry.
On that memorable day, what was a green field, where our children’s annual sports took place, became a warm and compact Chapel, where parishioners were in close contact with the clergy and each other. Prior to this for ten years through the kindness of the local Rector and the Church of Ireland Parishioners, we had been using their hall for our Mass every Sunday.
The first curate to reside in No. 2, Knightswood was Fr.Michael Coady, who was followed by Fr. Pat Farnan from 1995-1998 Fr. Aidan D’Arcy, although retired from the Parish of Motherwell in Scotland, elected to continue his ministry as curate in Santry and is still giving dedicated and caring service to the people of Santry.
Even though Blessed Margaret’s is normally closed except for Mass times on Wednesdays - 10a.m. and Sundays, 10a.m. there is plenty of activity at this end of the Parish. Baptisms take place here on the first and third Saturday monthly. Many people also choose the intimate setting of Blessed Margaret’s to celebrate their wedding. Sadly many funerals take place here too. For the past number of years children from Gaelscoil Columcille, have prepared for First Confession and received First Holy Communion here.
Pat Berry, Retired Sacristan