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'Community facility' call for Dominican

Save the Dominican group want very best use of priory and church

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The Dominican Church

The Dominican Church

The Dominican Church

The Save the Dominican group has written to Archbishop Eamon Martin to express their hope that the Dominican church and priory in the town will become a 'community facility' in the future.

A series of options have been raised in relation to it, but they feel it should represent the values of the last Dominican to serve in the church after 800 years, Fr Jim Donleavy, who believed, 'the door is always open and the kettle is always on.'

The letter followed on the clearance of the Dominican, to a now almost vacant building.

'In recent days, we have watched on as the Church of St Magdalen in Drogheda, a once pious citadel in our noble town, has been ripped of its soul and character. Many have come to stand and watch, not to pray, prey or worship, but to cry.

'We knew the church would be cleared of its vestiges, all the things we adored about the place, but to watch it crumble has been hard to take. The past few days has only highlighted the void left in the months since Jim's death.

'In our hearts we knew the moment Fr Jim closed his eyes for the last time, so too died his dream.

'The one thing Fr Jim did not want was a legacy. The desire to see the church remain open was not for him, it was for the people, the descendants of those that built the church with hammers and chisels.

'In recent weeks, Jack Charlton's name was mentioned with reverence. Jim was our Jack, a leader, confidant, strong and weak, a man like any other, but who cared deeply for those around him.

'Almost everything has gone from the church now and we await the next chapter, what will become of it?

We can but try in our endeavours to see this church remain in the hands of the people, although we know that becoming a place of worship again is now highly unlikely.

Archbishop, you are our last chance of raising this Phoenix, a glorious Phoenix, from the flames of destruction that presently engulf St Magdalen's. We don't have money, no grand plans, but like Fr Jim, we have but a dream that the very best use is made of the building.

'What is left for this committee is to try and make sure the right thing is done. The right thing in Jim's name, what he would have wished.

We know Fr Jim's spirit still walks the streets of his beloved Drogheda, each time we look in the Boyne, we see his reflection, his smile, his soft ways, his steely attitude that drew people to him,' they stated.

Drogheda Independent