Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eye on the Past 751

Two photographs this week of Athy scenes no longer to be seen. The first is an interior shot of St. Dominic’s Church which was demolished and replaced by the present Church. Fr. Lawrence Cremmin, Prior of the Dominicans in Athy, bought Riversdale House from Ann Lapham in 1846. Riversdale had been built for George Manseargh about 65 years previously and was approached from Duke Street through Tanners Lane. Another four years were to pass before the Dominicans moved from their residence at the Dublin Road end of Athy. The small cruciform shaped Church was adopted from existing outhouses and those of you old enough to remember the Church which stood on the site will recall the narrowness of its nave and transepts. There were two galleries, one above the southern end of the nave, and the other above the western transept and close to the bell tower. The photograph shows the main altar of St. Dominic’s Church but as the church was so narrow the two side altars are also clearly shown. It was on the main altar that Fr. John O’Sullivan died while saying Mass in 1932. He was remembered for many decades following his death but his name has now passed from memory as the older generation of Athy people have passed on.

The second photograph was taken from the roof of White’s Castle in the mid to late 1960’s and shows Mill House, a three bay two storey over basement house which was demolished to make way for the Allied Irish Bank. The house, I believe, was built in the first half of the 19th century and was the home of the Hannons who were owners of the Mill which was on the far side of Duke Street just below Crom a Boo Bridge. The Mill closed down in 1924 or thereabouts and when this photo was taken the house was owned, as it had been for several years before, by local veterinary surgeon, Michael Byrne.

The house, a fine example of Victorian architecture, was replaced by the present bank building which regretfully has little to recommend it.

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