KILMANCUD AND STILLORGAN PARISH
I lived in Stillorgan in 1964 when the Parish of St. Laurence O’Toole, Kilmacud, was formed. The Parish was made up of Kilmacud and Stillorgan. The first Parish Priest was Canon Harley. Until then our local church was Mount Merrion.
Kilmacud takes its name from the Irish Cill Mochuda, the church of Mochud. Mochud was from Munster, and is associated with the monastery of Lismore, Co.Waterford. He is said to have died around 703.
St. Brigid is the saint associated with Stillorgan. She founded the monastery in Kildare in the 5th or 6th century, which became one of the “Big Three” – with Iona and Armagh. Emissaries from Kildare came to Stillorgan, and built their church on the site of the present Church of Ireland church, probably in the early 9th century.
After WWII Dublin began to expand. Kilmacud and Stillorgan mushroomed and the needs of the Parish took on new dimensions.The De La Salle Brothers started St Benildus College in 1966 to provide secondary education for boys. Five years later, 1971, the Sisters of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus opened St Raphaela’s to provide a similar education for girls. Fr Walsh C.C. saw the need to provide physical recreation for young people in the Parish and was instrumental in founding the Kilmacud GAA Club in 1959.
A few years earlier, in 1948, the chapels of ease at Kilmacud and Mount Merrion were amalgamated into a single parish. Sixteen years later, in 1964, Kilmacud then became a Parish in its own right.
The chapel in Kilmacud was now much too small for the growing population, and all recognized that a new church was needed. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity donated a site, and the Church of St Laurence O’Toole was opened on December 14, 1969 by the Archbishop of the time Most Rev John Charles McQuaid. After the death of Canon Harley on January 13, 1981 Monsignor Val Rogers was appointed Parish Priest in June of the same year, a position he held with great distinction until he retired on his 75th birthday in 1995.