Progress on the new Church Roof – 2003

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No time for wolf whistles from the Deane Team of workers who are currently restoring the roof on the Church of the Assumption, Athenry.

Due to the amount of rain in May and early June, the team is about two weeks behind schedule and believe it or not, the few days of sunshine and high temperatures also made working conditions difficult. Like Goldilocks, the weather can’t be too hot or too cold, or too rainy or too windy, it has to be just right.

The mammoth task of replacing the church roof began on May 12th and the work is due to be completed by mid-July. All of the chipboard underneath the copper has been replaced and the fresh overlay of copper has been moulded and is being carefully slotted into place. The new materials and methods of putting the copper in place should ensure that the leaks and faults of the old church roof are a thing of the past.

Deane, the roofing contractors from Kilkelly, Co. Mayo are working six days a week to ensure that the job is completed to specification. The entire project is being supervised and guided by Patrick J Tobin & Co. Ltd, Consulting Engineers, Galway and a weekly report is given to Luke Moran, Chairman of the Parish Finance Committee. Such is the enthusiasm for the project that both Luke Moran and Fr. Tony King are regular visitors to the dizzy heights of the expansive rooftop in order to check the work-in-progress at first hand.

A project like this creates quite a buzz and naturally it doesn’t start and finish with the actual work of the roof restoration. The members of the Parish Finance Committee have spent many months in consultation with experts to choose the right materials and methods for putting a new roof on the church. As the project will cost in the region of €500,000, a carefully orchestrated fund-raising campaign has also been devised and the barometer outside the church in Athenry now proclaims that €125,000 has been raised to date.

The fund-raising is very much in the spirit of Meitheal, a working party reminiscent of the turf-cutters of old where everybody lent a hand and no one was over-burdened with work. The feedback to date suggests that the system is working and with a little effort on everybody’s part, the church roof debt will be cleared in three years.

It bears repeating that the people of the parish are asked to contribute in a number of simple ways. The two most important things to remember are firstly, to use the church envelopes which were delivered to your home last March for your weekly or monthly contribution to the church. We asked you then to increase your weekly contribution by €3.00 every week and to put your contribution in the envelope. The confidential recording of contributions, known only to Fr. King is for a very important reason. If everybody put their donations in the numbered envelopes, the parish could claim back an extra €20,000 a year from Revenue through the approved tax relief legislation.

All you have to do to help the parish to avail of this extra money is to complete the CHY2 form which was sent to you with your church envelopes. It just asks for your name and address, your PPS number and the rate at which you pay tax. Fr. King will use church records to fill in your annual donation and if it exceeds €25O per tax year, then the church is eligible to reclaim the tax which you have already paid on that amount. Any member of the Finance Committee will be happy to explain this in detail or to supply you with copies of the CHY2 form. Look out for members with forms at the back of the church after mass at weekends, as a concerted effort is being made to encourage people to complete their forms.

As August 15th, the annual time of good cheer and festivity in Athenry approaches, we have another reason to celebrate. Since 1760, a church has stood on the grounds of the present church which was rebuilt, as it stands now, in 1967.

This year, we reap the benefits of collective co-operation and thank God and the community for the gift of a new roof for the Church of the Assumption.

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About this record

Written by Ethna Archer

Published here 13 Feb 2024 and originally published Summer 2003

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