Photographer's Note

Pictured here is the interior of the dome that sits over the main body of the church of the Immaculate Conception. The church is situated with entrances from Cook Street and Merchants Quay in the city's south center.

The church is also known as the Church of Adam and Eve.

It is connected to the Franciscan friary of Merchants Quay whose history dates back to 1231. Back then the religious community saw much turmoil and in 1348, 23 members of the friary died from the black plague. 1541 saw the friary abandoned under the reign of Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries. The friary and lands were confiscated and destroyed at that point.

By 1615 a new friary had been built on Cook street which runs parallel to Merchants quay. A church which stood here was destroyed in 1619 and rebuilt. Due to Catholicism not being legal then the friars had to say mass secretly in what was known as the Adam and Eve tavern, which is how the church gets its second name today.

The church we see here replaced a previous building and after the Catholic emancipation in 1829, the friars set to work on building a new glorious church, which is the one we see here today. It was founded in 1834, but many changes have happened to its interior design since then.

The architect was Patrick Byrne who originally planned to have a monumental tower on the Merchants Quay entrance, but funds were a problem and the quay entrance was built with neither a tower or a nave whch makes it quite easy to miss among the other buildings of the quayside.

renovation works carried out after 1900 saw the construction of the dome we see here, and much of the interior of the building reorganized. An addition in 1912 was the Shrine to St Anthony which is Irelands national shrine to this much venerated saint.

Originally this church was dedicated to St Francis, but was rededicated to the immaculate Conception in 1889.

Today, as well as being a center of faith in the heart of Dublin, the ministry here provides amazing charity work. One element of their focus is towards dug users in the city center, and the other towards the poor and homeless of the city. The ministry offers free meals, food to take home and advise for these less fortunate people and it is a lifeline for hundreds. The ministry is hugely active in these inner city communities and nobody who lives in Dublin's city center is unfamiliar with the Merchants Quay project.

This beautiful building is only minutes walk from Chirtchurch Cathedral, one of Dublins most prominent landmarks, but you would never find tourists in this place. A shame, because it is a fantastic building.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4173 W: 26 N: 9238] (33764)
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