St. Joseph's Church in The Parish of Kilkeevin Castlerea (1798-1898)
Compiled by Anthony Tuohy, Castlerea. (Roscommon Historical & Archaeological Society Journal Vol. 3 Page 36: 1990)
This Church was built by the then parish priest of Kilkeevin, the Rev. Fr. Charles O'Connor who was appointed in the year of Our Lord 1792.
It was he who was instrumental in purchasing the site for the Church from Lord Mount Sandford of Castlerea House.
St. Joseph's Church was situated in the townland of Arm and replaced Oldtown Church which was also in Arm, but on the right-hand side of the road between Castlerea and Williamstown just below Arm Lodge and almost opposite the road leading to the first Church in our parish namely Kilkeevin.
The last Mass to be celebrated in St. Joseph's Church was a Midnight Mass in 1898 the Church was closed for some time prior to this but it was opened for this Midnight Mass.
The Bell that was in the Church Tower was the first Catholic Church Bell to be rung in the Province of Connacht when Catholic Emancipation was granted in 1829. The reason that this came about was that a member of the Balfe family of Southpark House was married to a relative of Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator, the word was sent to Castlerea. This bell was removed from the Bell Tower when the Church ceased to be a place of Worship, and was placed on the gable of St. Ann's Convent, Castlerea and was later taken by a contractor who was working on the Convent.
All that is left now is the tower and outline walls of St. Joseph's.
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