Anyone passing the old St Mary’s Church in Killymard in recent weeks cannot fail to have noticed the newly restored windows, particularly those in the tower.
This latest work marks an important stage in the ongoing restoration of this historical building. Work to date has included major work on the tower which was in a very poor state of repair; restoration of the windows in the main body of the church; and most recently, restoration of the tower and gallery windows.
Raymond Jordan from the Killymard Old Church Restoration Committee said: “Our next stage now is to restore the doors and door frames. I am looking forward to seeing that work completed as it will mean the church will be properly sealed.”
The work was carried out by joiner John Friel, builder Martin McNern and their staff under strict conservation guidelines.
As well as painstakingly restoring the arched windows, Mr Friel constructed sash windows for the galleries.
“It looked as if the original gallery windows were replaced by cheaper plain, teak windows at some stage,” said Mr Jordan. “John has made sash windows that are in keeping with the style of the other windows and the character of the church. They look very well. He has done a fantastic job.”
The work certainly gives a lift to the building both inside and out.
“These windows were all boarded up before,” said Mr Jordan. “Now when you go into the old church there is so much light. It was made a massive difference.”
This latest job was funded by money raised by the Killymard community. Previous work was part-funded by grants from the Department of Heritage, Donegal County Council and the Heritage Council. The balance was made up with the help of local donations and fundraising.
“The committee are very grateful to everyone who has contributed,” said Mr Jordan. “The aim of the restoration is to have a great community facility here in Killymard while preserving this lovely building for future generations. It takes a community effort to achieve that, and we are certainly seeing that community spirit for everything we do here.”
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