St Peter's Church, Phibsborough, Dublin

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St Peter's Church, Phibsborough
53°21′38.00″N 6°16′35.00″W / 53.3605556°N 6.2763889°W / 53.3605556; -6.2763889Coordinates: 53°21′38.00″N 6°16′35.00″W / 53.3605556°N 6.2763889°W / 53.3605556; -6.2763889
Location Phibsborough, Dublin
Country Ireland
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded c. 1826
Dedication St. Peter
Architect(s) Mr. G. C. Ashlin, F.R.I.B.A.
Style Gothic revival
Completed Changed and augmented over time. Current church (with tower) stands since 1907.
Length 200 ft (61 m)
Spire height 200 ft (61 m)
Materials Limestone
Parish Cabra/ Cabra West/ Phibsborough
Diocese Archdiocese of Dublin.
Archbishop Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Fr Paschal Scallon, CM

Fr Eamon Devlin, CM

Saint Peter's Church, Phibsborough is a large Roman Catholic parish church in the Dublin suburb of Phibsborough or Phibsboro (informal). It is considered to be a monument of triumph over proselytisers and is viewed upon by parishioners with pride.


A view of the nave.

In the early 19th century, Phibsborough was a crime-ridden suburb home to many families living in poverty. Proselytisers were roaming the streets discouraging Catholicism and converting people to Anglicanism. Eventually, the concern for the children of Phibsborough materialised and a Catholic school was built in 1826. Two of the priests who were then running the school, Rev. W. Young and Rev. W. Carroll, converted the top floor of the school into a chapel. In 1843, new schools were built to house the growing number of students. The second floor of the old school building was removed and the chapels length was augmented, leaving it 123 feet (37 m) long and 35 feet (11 m) high. It then became known as a church. Over time, more and more additions, augmentations and improvements were made to the church. In 1907, work on the spire commenced after Cardinal Moran of Australia commented on the lack of Catholic church spires in the Dublin skyline.

You could hardly be called a Dubliner if you hadn't heard of St. Peter's Church, Phibsborough. Standing proudly on Dublin's Northside, each stone of this noble landmark bears the story of hundreds of Irish people of many generations who dared to dream a dream.[1]


St. Peter's is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows, particularly the west window and Harry Clarke's early masterpiece entitled 'The Adoration of the Sacred Heart'. The window depicts the Sacred Heart, Mary Magdalene and St. John the Evangelist. The window was installed in 1919.

St. Peters is richly decorated with Gothic embellishments, such as gargoyles, pinnacles, bosses and columns made from Newry granite. The principal entrance is in the front, which consists of double doors, deeply and richly recessed with Newry granite columns and moulded jambs, while the tympanum is elaborately carved, and has a statue of St. Peter in the centre, the whole surmounted with a crocketted gable and paneling.[2]


The pipe organ, dating from 1910, is originally a Magahy instrument.[3] The instrument was majorly rebuilt and refurbished between 1947 and 1949 by the Conacher organ company. At this time it was a very highly regarded instrument, so highly regarded in fact the in 1952, the world famous French organist Jeanne Demessieux gave a recital here. Over time, pipes have gone missing from the organ. It is now in a state of disrepair, with many features not functioning. Henry Willis & Son have given a preliminary assessment of the organ to estimate the cost of refurbishment.

Specification Of The St. Peter's Organ[edit]

The console of the St. Peter's organ in the west gallery. Note the unusual stop tabs.
Pedal Great Swell Choir Couplers
32' Harmonic Bass 16' Double Diapson 16' Lieblich Bourdon 16' Contra Viola Ch/Gt
16' Open Diapason 8' Open Dia. No.1 8' Small Open Dia. 8' Open Diapason Sw/Gt
16' Violone 8' Open Dia. No.2 8' Stop'd Diapson 8' Viol D'Orchestre Sw Sub-Octave/Gt
16' Sub bass 8' Open Dia. No.3 8' Echo Gamba 8' Gedackt Sw Octave/Gt
16' Lieblich Bourdon 8' Harmonic Flute 8' Dulciana Celeste 4' Viola Sw/Ped
8' Open Diapson 8' Hohl Flute 4' Principal 4' Harmonic Flute Gt/Ped
8' Principal 4' Principal 4' Wald Flute 2' Violin Ch/Ped
8' Cello 4' Octave 2' Fifteenth 2' Harmonic Piccolo Sw/Ch
8' Bass Flute 4' Concert Flute Mixture III 113' Larigot
4' Principal 223' Twelfth 8' Oboe Mixture III
4' Flute 2' Fifteenth Tremulant Mixture II
16' Bombarde Mixture III 8' Harmonic Trumpet 8' Cromorne
8' Trompette 16' Trompette Octave Tremulant
4' Clairon 8' Trompette Sub Octave 16' Trompette
4' Trompette 8' Trompette
4' Trompette
Choir Octave
Choir Sub Octave



  1. ^ A History Of Cabra And Phibsborough, Bernard Neary
  2. ^ The 'Irish Builder' of February the 12th, 1903
  3. ^ [1] Dictionary of Organs and Organists

External links[edit]