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Postal address: Parish Office, St. Michan's Church,
Halston Street, Dublin 7

St. Michan's Parish
Halston Street

Parish EmailFr. Bryan's Blog


Restoration Work

August 2017
24th August 2017 - the painting is complete and the scaffolding is being removed in time for the Mass of Thanksgiving on 25th.

The scaffolding was moved earlier this week and the cleaning of the north wall started. The painting of the north wall starts as soon as the cleaning is complete. In the meantime, repair work has started in the gallery. Once again, we remind you to be careful as you make your way through the church.

Building the scaffold on the north wall
July 2017
The scaffolding is in place and the south wall of the church is being painted as far as the ceiling. Work on the north wall starts early August.

These pictures give a little insight into the size of the job and the work involved. In the final picture, Fr. Bryan and Stephen Ralph of SR Decor survey the work.

This work is possible through your ongoing support

Scaffold under construction
Fr. Bryan and Stephen Ralph

31 January 2017
Work started on the floor restoration on 23 January 2017 and half the floor was finished in time for the weekend Masses on 28/29 January. The second side was started on 30 January 2017 and will be ready in time for the weekend Masses on 4/5 February 2017

  Many thanks for your ongoing support. 

22nd December 2016
The scaffolding has been removed and this is how the sanctuary looked just before the cleaning crew moved in.

14th December 2016
The cleaning and repainting of the sanctuary are complete. The next task is the removal of the scaffolding which we hope will happen in the coming days.

23rd November 2016
The scaffolding is in place and the cleaning starts on 24th November in advance of the sanctuary and side altars being painted.

14th November 2016 (delayed due to the special Mass for the 250th Anniversary of George's Hill School)
The cleaning of the sanctuary is due to start this week. As soon as the cleaning is completed, the decorator will start painting with a view to getting it finished by Christmas.

29th September 2016
The interior church doors have been restored and reinstalled and the repainting of the interior walls is due for completion on 30th September – in time for the Annual Law Mass on 3rd October. Over the weekend, volunteers from the Greek-Catholic will clean and repair the parquet flooring.

22nd September 2016
The interior church doors leading from the Halston Street doors have been removed for specialist restoration work. They will be rehung soon.

The interior church walls have been cleaned in preparation for repainting. So far the sanctuary and the south wall have been painted and work has started on the ceiling under the gallery.

Carmel Keogh has returned from her Camino Walk and has raised over €2,000. Fr. Bryan is hoping to lead a walk along the Camino during the bicentenary year (2017) and is happy to chat with anyone who is willing to take part and raise funds for the restoration work.

14th July 2016
The church doors on North Anne Street have been restored and rehung. They will be painted soon and work is scheduled to start on the interior doors very soon. The start date for the interior painting has not been agreed – details will be posted soon.

27th June 2016
Some of the church doors have been removed for repair and repainting. The doors have endured many decades of use resulting in increased noise as people come and go. When the doors are rehung, the plan is to start painting the church interior in preparation for the bicentenary celebrations which start in 2017.

Fundraising this summer
Over one thousand years ago, pilgrims made their way in and out of Dublin through the Parish of St. Michan and made prayers and petitions at the first shrine to St. Michan which was located close to Blackhall Place. This parish church is the continuation of that first shrine. Míle buíochas to you for your support. Safe travelling and sincere thanks to Carmel Keogh for taking on this journey. Fr. Bryan Shortall ofm cap., PP

ALSO – we still run the weekly 50-50 Raffle, bicentenary candles and other items for sale, plus Sponsor a Pane and more.

5th October 2014
Thanks to the White Veil Walk and the ongoing 50/50 raffle, the side aisles were restored and the floors restored in time for the Annual Law Mass on 6th October 2014. The parquet immediately in front of the sanctuary will be restored as soon as is possible.
Thanks again everyone…
Carpet removed from the main aisle and original tiles cleaned and restored.


Thanks to the White Veil Walk on the August Bank Holiday, work will commence on the side aisles before the end of the month.

August 2014
Scaffolding has been installed in the gallery and work is about to start on the restoration of the plasterwork on the south wall. (14/8/2014)

June 2014
Plans are in place to work on the plasterwork which is showing signs of improvement. Despite the improvement, considerable is needed to restore the plaster to its original state. New systems will be put in place to make every effort to minimise possible future problems.

Further plans are being drawn up to work on more of the windows. These pictures speak volumes about the road ahead.

Bees trapped between the storm glazing and the stained glass!

Damage to the wooden frames clearly visible

The timber frames are in very poor condition, but luckily the stained glass does not appear to have been too adversely affected by the installation of uninsulated storm glazing. This was a major issue with the two windows either side that were repaired in 2009, they were badly buckled by overheating and their lead badly damaged.

The most impressive stained glass windows at St. Michan’s that remain to be repaired are situated on either side of the altar and date from 1866. They are twin-light timber gothic lancet windows of 6 x 1m

To repair these windows, we would plan to first remove the secondary glazing to assess the condition of the glass from a scaffold. If the glass could be easily cleaned and sealed in situ, we would protect it and proceed to repair the timber window frames. This involves cutting out or removing timber that has rotted, and splicing back sound timber or replacing timber slips. If the stained glass appears to require repair in a studio, we would leave it in place for now, and proceed to repair and paint the timber. We would adjust the timber slips so that new plate glass can be installed, arranged to provide adequate ventilation to remove any condensation on the window using a lead drip tray.

The other windows are too badly buckled to be repaired in-situ, so will need to be removed when their timber frames are being repaired in the same way. A head start has been made on these windows with the repair of the painted quatrefoil panels featuring Irish saints attributed to a young Harry Clarke. They are a similar size to the windows closest to the altar, but are not as intricate or colourful, and with the quatrefoils already repaired, this makes them easier to repair than those in 2009.

At a future date, the stained glass could be removed for repair, and reinstalled on brass frames without affecting the repair to the exterior. At that stage, the ventilation gaps would be removed to the plate glass layer by installing new panes top and bottom, sealing it so this would become the outside weathering layer.

Spring 2014
Since the last update, further work has been undertaken to remove a lean-to on the south side of the church. This will reduce the water ingress issues and will help in the plans to conserve the very fine plaster work on the ceiling and over the windows. No interior work will take place until the walls dry out completely.

October 2013

From time to time, people have wondered why the church in Halston Street is so cold. Indeed, during the cold spell last year, people referred to it as Iceland! Over the last year, the Parish Pastoral Council decided to purchase an oil tank as the old oil tank was corroded.

We took delivery of the oil tank in October and the result is clean oil flowing through the system and economically heating the church. We were even asked at the Red Mass (Law Mass) to turn off the heat, as it was too warm. This has never happened before!

The monies raised in the Fifty-Fifty Raffle paid for the oil tank upgrade and safe removal of the old tank.
Many thanks to all who take part.

Summer 2013

Over the summer of 2013, the bells in Halston Street began to ring once more. Now the bell tolls to call each of us to pray the Angelus and also to call us to Mass.

The use of bells in the Catholic Church, according to most sources, dates back to the fifth century when St. Paulinus, the bishop of Nola, introduced them as a way to alert monks to the times of worship.

In the seventh century, Pope Sabinianus approved the use of bells to call the faithful to Mass. By the ninth century, bell-ringing became popular at parish churches throughout the western Roman empire.

Today, bells still are rung as a way of alerting people that it is time for Mass. It also can let them know that something important has happened either in the parish or the greater Church, from a marriage or death to the election of a pope.

March 2013
Fundraising efforts stepped up with the introduction of the 50/50 draw. The monies raised will be used in the ongoing restoration work.

November 2012
During the twelve months since November 2011, we have continued with the restoration work in Halston Street. St. Anthony Shrine is now complete and the original Cross of San Damiano which was made for the parish when the Capuchin Fathers took over the running of the parish has a new home beside St. Anthony. Three more of the medallion windows were restored in October 2012 and are now safely back in their usual places.

‘The Crucifix that spoke to St. Francis of Assisi

Profoundly kneeling before this crucifix, St. Francis composed this prayer:
All highest, glorious God,
cast your light in to the depths of my heart.
Give me right faith,
firm hope,
perfect charity,
profound humility,
with wisdom and perception, O Lord
so that I may do
what is truly your holy will.

The Story behind the Crucifix
This is a perfect replica of the Crucifix of San Damiano. It was especially commissioned by the Parish Priest of St. Michan’s and St. Paul’s for this church and placed here on the Feast of the Ascension, 16th May 1985. It is painted in oils by an outstanding artist, Palermo Gino of Assisi – the birthplace of St. Francis. The original was painted in the 12th century, and is now permanently placed for public view in Assisi.

While praying before this Crucifix the figure of Christ spoke to St. Francis and asked him to ‘Go and repair my church’. St. Francis interpreted this as a command and he set out to physically repair the Church at San Damiano and later on to spiritually ‘repair’ the universal Church of Jesus Christ, hence the foundation of the great Franciscan Order.

St. Francis died in 1226. When the Poor Clares left San Damiano in 1257 they took the Crucifix with them and preserved it carefully for 700 years inside their cloistered monastery in San Giorgio.

November 2011

During the twelve months since November 2010, we have continued with the restoration work in Halston Street. We have also undertaken a deep clean of the interior of the church while we continue trying to raise further funds to ensure that the full programme of restoration work can be completed.

14 November 2010
The repair work on the ceiling and restoration of the plaster-work in gallery is now complete and we are entering the final stage of this phase of the restoration work. In the meantime, a pictorial history of the church and parish is in hand and will be available early in 2011.

27 March 2010
The windows are back in place, the scaffolding is gone and the church is ready for the great celebration of Easter 2010.

Mid March 2010
The scaffolding is back in place and the restored windows are being re-installed.

Pictures and update from January 2010

External view of Halston Street Church (facing North Anne Street).

Internal view of the restoration work in Halston Street Church (taken from the gallery).

External view of the repair work to Halston Street Church. Image taken from the rooftop (facing Smithfield).

External view of the repair work to Halston Street Church. Image taken from the rooftop (facing Smithfield).

View of the replacement ceiling in St. Anthony’s Chapel.

View of damage to
St. Anthony’s Chapel.

View of repair work in the roofspace.

Repair work underway to the south facing window.

Support bracket to gallery beam.

Image of angel for stained glass.

December 2009
The daily Mass is once again being celebrated in the church as the restoration work continues overhead. Some of the scaffolding will be removed before Christmas giving access to almost all of the pews.

19 November 2009
The daily Mass continues to be celebrated in the sacristy during the ongoing restoration work. The weekend Masses will however, be celebrated in the church. We were delighted to receive a grant of €25,000 from Dublin City Council and a separate grant of €34,000 from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. These will help significantly towards the overall estimated cost of €160,000.

Donations towards the restoration work can be made directly to one of the priests of the parish, or by using the Planned Giving Envelopes available in Halston Street, or by direct debit through the bank. Direct Debit forms are available in Halston Street church.