The Parish of the Church of the Ascension of The Lord, Balally, was constituted in 1977 from Sandyford Parish. It takes its name from the townland of the same name situated in the ancient deanery of Taney. The old Gaelic form is Baile Amhlaoibh – meaning the “town of Olave” indicating Norse ownership before the Anglo-Norman invasion. Balally Parish stretches from the Slang river at Ardglas to the M50 motorway at Sandyford. It comprises Sandyford Road, the housing estates on both sides of it as well as the Sandyford/Stillorgan Industrial Estates. It also takes in the Gort Muire Conference Centre and the estates of College Park, Delbrook Manor and Delbrook Park on the Ballinteer Road.
There are more than 2,200 homes with a population of approximately 9,000 people. The parish is served by two primary (Queen of Angels and St. Olaf’s) and two second level schools (St. Tiernan’s and Wesley College).
HISTORY OF THE PARISH
For the first few years, of the parishes’ existence St. Olaf’s National School hall was used as a Mass Centre.
The Church of the Ascension of the Lord was opened in October 1982 by
Archbishop Dermot Ryan. The architect was Liam McCormack.
The dedication of The Church of the ascension of the Lord (October 1982)
© The Church of the Ascension of the Lord.
The Church of the Ascension of the Lord has served the people of Balally since its opening. Due to financial constraints at the time of opening some items in the church building were not completed until recent years.
With the construction of the Luas project the church received a windfall of funds from the purchase of church lands. This enabled the completion of the church with the insertion of the suspended ceiling and stained glass windows. At this time a new sanctuary was commissioned along with a new altar, ceiling, lighting and baptismal font. As a result of all this construction work the church was re-dedicated by His Grace Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on October 1st 2006.
The Re-dedicated Sanctuary of the church October 1st 2006. ©The Church of the Ascension of the Lord
The re-dedicated Sanctuary (October 2006) ©The Church of the Ascension of the Lord
Priests and Sisters who have served in Balally Parish
Fr. Sean Cleary (Deceased) 1977 – 1979
Fr. James E Randles (Eddie) (Deceased) 1979 -1992
Dr. Dermot A. Lane 1992 – 2017.
(After retiring in 2017, Dr. Lane continued to serve as parish chaplain)
Fr. Peter F. Byrne (as co-parish priest) 2017 – present
(Fr. Byrne had been a curate in Balally since 2014)
Curates to the parish were:
Fr. Richard (Dick) Browne 1977-1979
Fr. Patrick (Paddy) Lyons 1980-1986
Fr. Ray O’Sullivan 1979-1983
Fr. Eugene Roe 1983-1986
Fr. Norman Nolan (Deceased )1986-1989
Fr. William (Willie) King 1986-1993
Fr. Gerard Canning 1989-1995
Fr. James (Jim) Hackett 1993-1996
Fr. Oliver Crotty 1995-1999
Fr. Kevin Rice 1996-2000
Fr. Brian Edwards 1999-2005
Fr. Philip Bradley 2005-2009
Fr. Paddy Moran 2009 – 2011
Fr. Fergus McGlynn 2011 – 2014
Fr. Peter Byrne 2014 – 2017 (when he became co-p.p.)
Fr. Jim Pribeck S.J. served as supply priest from 2000 – 2004
Fr. John Looby is currently serving as a supply priest
Fr. Pádraig McCarthy (retired) serves as a supply priest
Religous Sisters attached to the parish include:
Sisters of Marie Reparatrice
From 1982 – 1990
Faithful Companions of Jesus
From 1990 –
Sr. Mary O’Neill
Sr. Benedicta Maher (deceased)
Sr. Katherine Curtin (deceased)
Sr. Miriam Ryan (deceased)
Sr. Gerard Sinnott (deceased)
Sr. Margaret O’Donohue
Sr. Catherine Toomey (deceased)