CHURCH LANE IN DOUGLAS VILLAGE CORK
There are a small number of graves of clergy within the churchyard but many visitors believe that the two cemeteries, Douglas Cemetery and St Luke’s Church Of Ireland cemetery, nearby as associated with the church but they are not. I have photographed both cemeteries.
The current Saint Columba’s is a well-maintained example of a nineteenth-century Roman Catholic church. It retains its historic form along with much of its early fabric. Quality craftsmanship is evident externally in the lattice windows and render finishes, and internally with the stained glass, fine carving and decorated apse. The decorative interior contrasts with the more simple exterior of the building. Sited adjacent to the former national school, the two form a group which has played a significant role in the local social fabric. St Columba’s was extended and refurbished in 1907 by Rev. Thomas McCullagh, who spent £1,200 on the works. These included lengthening and re-roofing the building, adding a gallery and new lead glass windows. A non-Catholic, Captain Cooper (Ballinrea House) gave generously to the Catholic parish church. A stained glass window made by Watsons of Youghal was donated in memory of John Morrogh, owner of Douglas Woollen Mills and former Nationalist MP. The church was last modernised and refurbished in 1999. The present-day interior, with its Romanesque-style decoration, dates from this time.
The first known mention of Douglas is in an inquisition on the lands of Gerald de Prendergast in 1251, and in a 1291 taxation document which records the lands as being an appurtenance of the Church of Bauvier. It is alternately listed as “Duffelglasse” and “Duglasse” in 1302 and 1306, respectively, as part of the parish of Carrigaline. In the year 1603, it became one of the liberties of Cork City. In 1615, parochial records mention the chapel of Douglas being laid waste, reportedly due to theft of the foundation stones, and in a 1700 entry of the same records it is mentioned that the ruined chapel in question had been the church of Carrigaline parish for a century prior to the construction of a new church in Carrigaline itself.[By the mid-seventeenth century, it had a population of 308 people (of whom 33 were English) and consisted of a number of large farms.
Douglas was made a separate Roman Catholic parish sometime before 1768. St Columba’s (Roman Catholic) church was built in 1814 by the Rev. Thomas Barry, according to local legend using the stones of the ruined castle of Castletreasure. A Douglas “Chapel of Ease” to the Church of Ireland parish of Carrigaline was established on 17 September 1786, with the establishment of a full separate parish in February 1875. In 1855, the Protestant population of the parish was reported as having been 310, with 150 children attending the parish school. The 1785 church was rebuilt and reconsecrated on 27 August 1875 as St Luke’s church, however, following the death of the resident Canon in 1886, as well as the principal architect, the church remained without a spire until 1889, with the church bell and tower clock donated by Mary Reeves of Tramore House, with the stipulation that the clock face towards her front door. Notable parishioners interred at St Luke’s include the poet Richard Alfred Milliken and librarian Richard Caulfield; in addition, a plaque was erected in the memory of art collector Sir Hugh Lane, deceased in the sinking of the Lusitania. The nearby parish of St Finbar’s opened a chapel of ease in Frankfield in 1838, later known as the Holy Trinity, on ground donated by Samuel Lane. An additional graveyard, located on Carr’s Hill, was opened in 1848 on land donated by the Master of the Workhouse, George Carr, to deal with the increase in deaths from the Great Famine.
In the 2011 census, the percentage of Irish nationals living in Douglas was 88.8%. UK nationals accounted for 1.7%; Polish nationals 3.2%; Lithuanians 0.6%; other EU nationals 2.1%; other nationals 2.9%; and 0.7% did not state their nationality.[
In the 2016 census, 78.6% of residents of the Douglas electoral division identified as Catholic, 8% were members of other religions, 12% had no religion and less than 1% did not state a religion. In the same census, 86.2% of electoral division residents identified as white Irish, 8.3% were other whites, 1% were black, 1.7% Asian or Asian Irish, 1.4% were of other ethnicities, and 1% did not state an ethnicity.