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01 Oct 2022

Events being organised to mark 400th anniversary of church in Lifford

St Lugadius’ Church is recorded as being of national importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage survey

Events being organised to mark 400th anniversary of church in Lifford

St Lugadius’ Church

There will be an open day on Monday, August 15th as part of the activities to mark the 400th anniversary of one of Donegal’s oldest churches.

St Lugadius’ Church in Clonleigh, Lifford,  is recorded as being of national importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) survey for County Donegal, and is in the records of protected structures.

This church, along with Raphoe Cathedral, are the only seventeenth century plantation churches listed as still being intact in Donegal. There are very few left in the whole of Ireland, and it is much rarer to find one still in active use.

The open day is from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm on Monday while there will be a special service on Sunday, August 21, at 3.30pm. 

Averil Meehan, a long-standing parishioner of St Lugadius’s Church, Lifford, Clonleigh Parish, has documented the story of this historic church and parish from earliest times to the present day.

Lifford, the administrative centre of Donegal, has within its boundaries, the Parish Church of St Lugadius. Though the Parish of Clonleigh was transferred to Raphoe Diocese in 1978, it belongs historically with its neighbouring Parishes of Monellan and Donaghmore, and the Parishes of Inishowen to Derry Diocese.

She has traced the story of the parish right back to its origins in the early Celtic Church, to the time of St Columba in the sixth century. 

According to Rev Canon David Crooks, who is Rector of Taughboyne with Craigadooish, All Saints and Killea, the parishioners are confident in their future, despite there being only a small congregation at St Lugadius’.

“If the people of St Lugadius’ Church, Lifford, in the Parish of Clonleigh continue to support their beautiful church, then there is no reason why it should not continue to bear witness to the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for many years to come,” he states in the special booklet that has been produced to mark the occasion.

He also paid tribute to Averil Meehan for “her excellent, beautifully illustrated and readable account of their lovely old church, its history, and its significant place in the community.”

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