North Wall 'organ donors' aim to fill church with music again

Fr Robert Colclough, parish priest at St Laurence O’Toole Church in North Wall. Photo: Arthur Carron.

Ian Begley

A north Dublin community is on a mission to raise €50,000 in a bid to restore a church organ to its former glory.

The organ, which lies in a derelict state at St Laurence O'Toole Church, North Wall, was once a much-loved feature but has been out of action since 1991.

It is not known if it is the same instrument that was lent to the church in 1850, but the community is nevertheless determined to raise enough money to get it back in working order.

To date, around €4,500 has been donated.

Parish priest Fr Robert Colclough said he has been "astounded" by his parishioners' generosity.

"There's a huge interest in getting this organ back in action," he said.

"So many people have wonderful memories of hearing it being played at very special occasions like weddings and christenings.

"The generosity of our community, both new and old, has been extraordinary.

"The fundraising committee recently raised over €700 in a cake sale and have come up with some great ideas to garner extra donations.

"It's a phenomenal organ that's possibly 170-years-old. We don't know that much about it except that it was refurbished in the 1960s with a few electrical components added to it.

"But when it's back to its former glory I'm sure it will be the centrepiece of our church once again and the heart of North Wall."


Marie O'Reilly, a member of the fundraising committee, said the community's generosity "provided a shining light to counter- act the negative attention that often afflicts north Dublin".

"It's so important to show the many positives of North Wall because it's constantly in the news for all the wrong reasons," she said.

"We've been getting donations and support from everyone, including businesses and local representatives.

"A man even sent in a donation from Australia."

For more information, visit