Saturday, 28 March 2009



St Columba’s Church, Drung re-opened its doors this Sunday after being closed for a year for refurbishment, with a rededication of the church celebrated by Bishop Seamus Hegarty.

“We are absolutely delighted to get back into the church again,” said Father John Farren who has been Parish Priest at St Columba’s since 2002. “It is a good day for the Parish and people are very glad to be getting back again after being out for a year.”

For the last year parishioners have been using the community centre at Quigley’s Point and Fr Farren is very grateful that they were able to use the centre. “The management committee were very accommodating at the centre and it was great to have a home while the work was going on, but it is lovely to have the restoration finished,” he said.

Fr Farren feels the beautiful refurbishment and repairs is a reflection of the generosity of the people of the Parish who have been so supportive with raising the funds for the work.

“All parishes including churches in Muff, Iskaheen and Drung have been giving money through local church collections as well as running functions and having a draw. The Greenbank Presbyterian Church in Moville ran a function to raise funds for the refurbishment so it was great to have cross community support as well.”

The main source of donations, the church collections will continue to ease the €1.2 million costs of the refurbishment.

“It was an extensive renovation,” said Fr Farren, “Everything was refurbished from the roof to the floor including new marble sanctuary furnishings and replacing timber beams that had dry rot or woodworm. It is a protected historic building and all the work had to be in keeping with the original style as possible. The project was managed by James Doherty, a contractor from Straboe in Buncrana and Michael Hegarty from Derry, was the architect,” he added.

The church is an attractive building and has one of the most beautiful settings locally. Now that it has re-opened Fr Farren reports that there will be a run of weddings. Every Saturday is booked for the next few months, with 24 marriages already booked in for the rest of the year, ” he smiles. “Some people did postpone their weddings until we got back into the church.”

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