STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN? Scaffolding being erected at St Mary’s Church, Westport, last week as the refurbishing and repair work continues on the building. Pic: Conor McKeown
RECONSTRUCTION works at St Mary’s Church, Westport, could be stalled if more monies are not raised for the essential repairs to the flat-roofed parts of the building. While parishioners have been very generous in their contributions to the €1.2 million capital works, there is still a shortfall of some 50 percent of the monies.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Father Charlie McDonnell, Administrator of the parish, stressed how ‘deeply appreciative’ both he and the other clergy are of the support received for this project, undertaken after a section of a ceiling in a side-aisle collapse in July 2015.
“Built in 1929, this is the oldest concrete church built in Ireland and it has presented its own problems. While the main roof is fine it is the flat roofs at the sides that have caused the problems. As people know, the plaster gave way in 2015 but we are now dealing with a problem with the actual concrete but we are hopeful it is not too serious,” Fr Charlie explained.
To compete the works though, the church will have to implement a renewed fundraising drive.
“We are inviting people to join a new fundraising committee at the end of November when we will devise a programme of events to bring in significant funds for both the short-term and longterm sustainable future of the church,” he continued.
Fr McDonnell will advise Mass goers about the plans at next weekend’s services.