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St. Nahi’s Church, Dundrum

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Dec 17, 2021

St. Nahi is an 18th-century church in Dundrum, Dublin, Ireland.

St. Nahi’s Church

. . . St. Nahi’s Church, Dundrum . . .

The name Taney derives from Tigh Naithi meaning the house or place of Nahi, and who may also be associated with Tobarnea, a seashore well that near Blackrock. The current church is still in use by the local Church of Ireland community and is one of two churches in the Parish of Taney (historically encompassing the whole area around Dundrum). It is built on the site of an early Irish monastery founded by Saint NahÍ.

St. Nahi’s stands on the grounds of the original monastery, having been refurbished several times, most recently in 1910, after a period when it was in use as the parish boys’ school. Following storm damage to the roof, a major refurbishment was carried out by the then Rector of the Parish, Canon William Monk Gibbon (father of the poet of the same name), who is buried in the grounds of the church. A plaque erected after the refurbishment reads:

The entrance gate to this Churchyard was erected by the parishioners of Taney Parish to the memory of William Monk Gibbons, Canon of Christ Church Cathedral by whose impression and effort the restoration of this church was accomplished. He repaired the altar of the Lord.

The church contains some interesting artefacts including the baptismal font of the Duke of Wellington who was baptised in 1769, donated to Taney Parish in 1914 by the closing of St. Kevin’s Church in Camden Row, and altar tapestries depicting scenes from the Bible. The tapestries illustrating the Last Supper were made by the two Yeats sisters Lily and Lolly Yeats, both of whom are interred in the graveyard.

Two Rathdown Slabs[1] are displayed inside the church. These ornate burial slabs date back 1,000 years to the Viking-Christian era. Such slabs have only been found in the barony of Rathdown (the area roughly covering Churchtown to Bray). Only about 30 of these slabs have been discovered to date, these two were discovered in 2002 in the graveyard by archaeologist Chris Corlett, who had missed his bus from Dundrum and decided to explore the cemetery.[2] Local historian John Lennon, as well as Harry Griffith, aided by Dúchas, relocated the slabs inside the church. Harry Griffith has been researching and listing the graves in St. Nahi’s graveyard since 2001, compiling a comprehensive history and listing of the graveyard. Harry Griffith was interred in the graveyard after an illness on 18 April 2012.

An insight into life expectancy for the area can be gleaned from the “Index to the Register of Burials” for the parish between January 1897 and April 1917 show 1,836 people buried during this period, of which 551 were children under 6 years of age.

View from the LUAS bridge

. . . St. Nahi’s Church, Dundrum . . .

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. . . St. Nahi’s Church, Dundrum . . .