Older residents of the town will remember the huge fund raising activities which went into the drive for funds for the construction of St. Michael’s Church in the town. They included weekly house-to- house collections, parish draws, card drives, whist drives, sales of work, concerts, bingo nights, a drama festival, football matches and exhibition golf matches. This community effort was rewarded when the church was opened and blessed by John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin on 19th April 1964. This week the Eye features two photographs of what the Nationalist of April 24th 1964 headlined “GREAT DAY IN ATHY PARISH”. The first photograph shows the Archbishop inspecting the Guard of Honour provided by the 6th Field Artillery Regiment F.C.A. under the command of Lieutenant F. McGowan.
The second photograph shows a procession preceding the Archbishop and prominent among them was the Parish Priest of the day, the Very Rev. Vincent Steen, Fr. Mitchell, Fr. Corbett and sub-deacon Brendan Houlihan. I would like to hear from readers who can help me identify anyone else in the photographs.