Major church and presbytery renovations planned in Thurles

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Work is to begin shortly in Thurles, Co.Tipperary, on upgrading the town's second church at Bohernanave and two presbyteries.

The development follows a major refurbishment on the town's cathedral which was completed only a few years ago.

Both the interior and exterior of St Joseph's and St Brigid's Church, Bohernanave, are to be renovated at an estimated cost of almost 850,000.

The work includes a new heating system, the upgrading of wiring and lighting, the extension of the sanctuary and the removal of confession boxes at the entrance.

The church will also be re-carpeted and redecorated, and outside, the tower, cross, soffits and fascia will be renovated and the car park will be extended.

Meanwhile, the adjacent presbytery is to be altered to provide more private quarters for the resident clergy and improved office accommodation.

It is also planned to provide multi-purpose meeting rooms at Bohernanave which when added to the proposed enhancements to the presbytery will add over half a million euro to the bill facing the town's parishioners.

The town's second presbytery attached to the Cathedral of the Assumption is also to be renovated and updated.

Archbishop Dermot Clifford said he was confident the people of the parish would support the projects.

He remarked that he always got "a real kick" out of celebrating Mass at Bohernanave because he said it had a "real sense of intimacy which I don't get in other churches".

The forty-seven year old church was designed in accordance with the Liturgical Norms of Vatican II and no worshipper is more than fifty feet from the altar.

Administrator Fr Martin Hayes said that renovation plans had been in preparation for two years before they were unveiled.

"We feel we have brought together a vision for the future of Bohernanave and the parish of Thurles" he said.

"We are confident this is a viable and presentable project which will be supported by the people of the parish".

Fr Hayes said Bohernanave was an important place of worship for the parishioners of Thurles.

The church, which opened in 1971, was built on a site donated by a parishioner and the total cost of building it and the presbytery at the time was 127,000.