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New Tower for Laurencetown Church

On 8th. November 1911 Dr. Michael McConville was appointed P.P. Tullylish. A native of Drumlough in the parish of Drumgath he was educated at Propaganda College, Rome, where he took a doctorate in Divinity and Philosophy. Because of his huge stature and erudition he was known as `The Big Doctor'. According to Padraig Keenan's Clergy of Dromore Diocese, Dr. McConville entered Mount Mellary Abbey, Co. Tipperary, for eighteen months before resuming his pastoral duties in Lower Drumgooland
.
Dr. McConville saw the urgent need for a new tower and belfry in Laurencetown. On his appointment he set about raising the necessary fund of £2,000 for the project. No report of the opening and dedication of the tower is to be found in any newspaper and so it is left to those who remember the occasion to describe it as best they can. It appears to have been dedicated unofficially in 1912, the occasion being commemorated by a re-sited plaque, which reads as follows:

Of your charity
Pray for the Happy Repose of the Soul
of Very Rev. Michael McConville D.D.
who erected this tower.
A.D. 1912

Little was recorded by Dr. McConville regarding parish affairs during his brief pastorate. He died on 12th. December 1913 - only two years after his appointment. However, it was later discovered that he had paid for the erection of the tower out of his personal estate. He also is interred in Laurencetown Cemetery.

Photograph taken during the erection of the tower in Laurencetown

 

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