Parish History

ST MURA’S CHURCH, FAHAN (1833) - St Mura’s Church or the “Parish Church” as it is called, is the oldest of our churches, having been built in 1833. The Most Rev Dr Maginn built the present parish church in the town land of Castlequarter. Extensive work was done to the roof in 2000 and the car park was extended in 2007.


THE CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FAHAN (1946) - The Church of the Immaculate Conception or the “Chapel of Ease” was built in Fahan village in 1946 at a time when summer visitors came in great numbers by train from Derry. The building began in February 1946, local people raising most of the money required, and the fact that it was completed in such a short space of time was a tribute to the administrative ability of the Parish Priest Rev Joseph O’Doherty. The Chapel is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and was officially opened on 8 December 1946 by Most Rev D McDowell.

The architect was Frank Corr, the main contractor J Hegarty, Buncrana, and clerk of works James McGrory, Tooban.


ST AENGUS’ CHURCH, BURT (1967) - St Aengus’ Church or the “round church” was built at Speenogue in 1967. The site of St Aengus’ Church is on the shore of Lough Swilly, about 6 miles from Derry. On a hilltop overlooking it is the stone-built Grianan Fort, a circular pre-Christian structure where King Eoghan was baptised by St Patrick in AD 441. Eoghan’s grandson Aengus built the first Christian church at Burt and became its patron saint. It survived until 1700 when it was destroyed, and for 80 years afterwards, owing to the Penal Laws, there was no church at Burt. A primitive church was built in 1780 which was improved and renovated over the years and served the parishioners until the new church was opened in 1967.

The circular design and stone outer walls of the new church echo the shape of Grianan Fort. Liam McCormick, of Corr and McCormick, architects, Derry, assisted by Oonagh Madden, was responsible for the design which won the Gold Medal for Architecture 1965-1967 and was also awarded ‘Building of the Century’ by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland in the year 2000.

OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHURCH, INCH (1923) - The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was built in 1923. Prior to the building of this church the Catholics of Inch had a church which served as a school during the week. Only 30 feet long before an extension was built in 1858, it served as one of the parochial churches of Inch and Burt prior to the amalgamation with Upper Fahan in 1864. The last parish priest was Fr McAleer who was appointed in 1847.

Before any church was built in Inch people attended open air Mass at Moress Point, the priest coming from Fahan, probably from Baile an tSagairt (Priestown) in Inch Road where there is a height called Ard Aifrinn (Mass Hill).