The old chapel standing at the village crossroads of Ballinameen has been there since 1800. [Freeman's Journal 4 May 1900].
Séipéal Bhaile na Mín, as it would have been called back then, had a thatch roof, as did most 19th century Roman Catholic chapels in the district. Originally a narrow rectangle, it appears alongside a schoolhouse (no longer extant) in the OSI map of 1837 . The chapel is also mentioned by Lewis in 1837.
It is most certainly here, that anyone recorded in the Ballinameen Catholic Parish Registers received their sacraments. Prior to 1859, parishoners of Ballinameen were recorded in the Killucan Parish Registers. Bear in mind, prior to the Great Famine, marriages and baptisms generally took place in the family home (an echo of the Penal restrictions of previous centuries).
From 1859-1871 the parish priest here was Rev. Fr. Matthew J. Barrett, who initiated the campaign for funds to build a new church here, because "in the most inclement weather, the majority of the congregation had to stand outside the chapel during the service and half of the worshippers inside had no seats". [Freeman's Journal - 4 May 1900] Fr. Matt, as per his dying request, was interred at Ballinameen Cemetery, at the planned site for a new church.
In 1900 the foundation stone for St Attracta's Church was laid in the townland of Knockglass, by the Bishop of Elphin.
And so it was, by 1903, that the old chapel at Ballinameen Crossroads was retired.
|Ballinameen Catholic Registers at the NLI||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|
|Killucan Catholic Registers at the NLI||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|