Short History of our Church

In 1829 Fr. Murphy was appointed administrator of the Parish of Clonallon. On taking up his post, he immediately started to look for a suitable location on which to build a new church for the people of Burren. He approached Mr Roger Hall who kindly donated the site adjacent to the burial ground, which had existed since 1798.

Work commenced on the new Church in 1829 and it was officially opened by the Most Rev. Dr. Blake on 8th September 1833; the new Church was originally called St. Colman’s, Burren. Fr. Murphy also established Carrick National School and St. Peter’s Church in Warrenpoint. He died at the age of 54 on July 1845 and is interred in St. Mary’s cemetery, Burren.

On 23rd February 1929, Dr. Mulhern laid the first foundation stone for the new presbytery in Burren and in 1939 the Church was practically rebuilt and was rededicated on 15th September 1940. On the 13th November 1983 the people of Burren celebrated the 150th anniversary of the opening of St. Mary’s Church. A year later the parish of Clonallon was divided into three separate parishes: St Mary’s Clonallon (comprising of the twelve townlands of Burren); St. Patrick’s Clonallon (Mayobride); and St. Peter’s Clonallon (Warrenpoint). Fr James Woods was appointed as the first Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Burren in 1984.

The Very Rev. Charles Byrne was appointed as Parish Priest in 2001. In October 2003 an extensive reconstruction of the Church began and the Church was officially re-opened on Sunday 4th May 2004.

Recent Priests in Burren

  • 1941 – Rev. P Boyd CC
  • 1951 – Rev. Daniel Fegan CC
  • 1955 – Rev. John Brannigan CC
  • 1959 – Rev. Thomas Mooney CC
  • 1964 – Rev. Hugh Connolly CC
  • 1968 – Rev. Arthur Byrne CC
  • 1975 – Rev. Jack Murtagh CC
  • 1977 – Very Rev. James Woods CC
  • 1984 – Very Rev. James Woods PP
  • 2001 – Very Rev. Charles Byrne PP



Parish reflection

Celebrating our faith
St. Mary’s Church, Burren 

Faith is a seed of hope and trust, planted in our hearts by those who love us. It is the belief that life begins and ends with God.

Faith gives meaning to life and direction to our thoughts and dreams.
It illuminates the darkest of nights and intensifies the brightest of days, And leads us to a God who loves each of us, unconditionally for who we are.

Faith is the most precious of all gifts,
Handed lovingly down from one generation to the next.
It is the knowledge that we are never on our own because God is by our side. When we truly believe, we find a contentment which this world cannot give, We find a reason to live, to love and to share our wonderful treasure.

With God by our side, nothing is impossible and dreams can come true. With faith in our lives there is a reason to smile, to be hopeful and be glad, A reason to look to the future with optimism and the anticipation
Of greater things to come and brighter days beyond the horizon.

Even when we fail to see his work in our lives, he is there.
In times of joy and in times of sorrow, he is there.
Spirit of Life, we give thanks for our faith and the faith of our fathers.

Lord Jesus, let us see your face, know your heart and experience your love in our lives. Strengthen in us the precious gift of faith.