St. Fintan’s Church, Raheen

Saturday Shanahoe Vigil: 7.30pm
Sunday: 11.00am Tobar an Léinn N.S.
Weekdays: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10.00am -  Red Cross Centre, Raheen (See Newsletter –  Mass times subject to change) First Friday Shanahoe: 7.30pm
Holy Days as in Newsletter

about St. Fintan’s Church, Raheen

St. Brigid’s Church, Shanahoe


Vigil Mass Saturday eve: 7.30pm

Sunday: 9.30am

Wednesday: 10.00am

about St. Brigid’s Church, Shanahoe

Raheen History

Raheen – The Little Fort

Until the year 1920, the Parish of Raheen was part of the extensive district of Clonenagh. The old church ruins exist at Cromogue where it is said, St. Fintan resided before founding his monastery at Clonenagh c. 548. St. Fintan is thought to be from Clonkeen, Co. Laois. His monastery was amongst the prime centres of learning and was called the Gallic school, from the large number of foreign attendants, especially from Gaul. Nearby in St. Fintan’s well – pebbles from the well are said to protect from shipwreck or accidental death.

The old thatched chapel of Raheen was erected in 1729, the site having been granted by the Protestant Baldwin family after Mr Baldwin had witnessed a gathering of poor people for mass in a deep pit, named thereafter, the Mass Pit. The thatched chapel was used up to 1860. This humble structure was replaced by the present substantial church. The blue stone used in the building of St. Fintan’s was brought by horse and cart from a quarry at Newtown, Ballyroan, Co. Laois.

The church was built in 1875 – 1860. In 1857 Fr. Thomas Hennessy was pastor, and he was succeded in 1859 by Fr. James O’Beirne. The tall windows which are only one foot in width and about 10ft. high are an unusual feature.

In 1979 work was undertaken by local contractor P.J. Grant which included restoring the porch and church sacristy, lowering of the ceiling, erection of new doors and installation of new eve gutters, down pipes, and windows. A car park was also added.

On 15th December 1985, Bishop Patrick Lennon blessed St Fintan’s following further major refurbishment. Mr. Wilfrid Cantwell was the architect for both phases. Mr Martin Breen of Shanahoe was contracted to complete this interior renovation (1985) and further refurbishment in 1998.