Catholic Church Massforth, Ballymageogh Catholic Church- Upper
3km NW of Kilkeel on Rostrevor road
Curate's house; Massforth, 152 Newry Rd, Kilkeel
BT34 4ET ; Tel 4176 2257 Fax; 4176 5405
This large Catholic church
is a few kilometres west of Kilkeel town, on the Rostrevor road.
Before this chapel was built, the people worshipped in the open
air at a place called Mass Forth. This chapel was commenced in
1811 by Rev. John MacMullan and completed in 1818 by Rev. Richard
Curoe & replaced 1870 by Rev. George Maguire ( 1856- 1885
) at a cost of £5,000. It is beside an ancient court grave
made of large granite stones in the shape of a boat. The architects
were Messrs. O'Neill & Byrne of Belfast.
There is a graveyard surrounding
the church and a school attached. The Rev. Richard Marner was
the parish priest there for 33 years until he died in 1906 His
tombstone is inscribed in Latin and is in the horizontal style
of the 18th century. He was born in 1834 in Kilmore parish and
was the 1st President of St. Malachy's College, Belfast.
Rev. Thomas O'Donnel was curate in 1886.
List of 20th century priests;
Rev. Richard Marner
until 1906; Rev. Murtagh Hamill 1906- 1913; Rev. John
McAlister 1913- 1923; Rev. Bernard Laverty 1923- 1931; Rev. John
McGowan 1931- 1957; Rev. Denis Cahill 1957- 1962; Rev. Daniel
Gogarty 1963- 1975; Rev. Walter Larkin 1975- 1988; Rev. Hugh Starkey
1988-2000; Rev Sean McCartney 2000+
& marriages are available from 1839; www.emeraldancestors.com
has baptisms 1845-1863 with free indexes but pay-per-view for
Graveyard attached, gravestone inscriptions available UHF Vol
10, oldest grave 1810; UHF has baptisms 1837-1900 & marriages
1839-1900 & deaths 1869-1900