St Peter's Church, Phibsborough, Dublin
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.
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.
The pipe organ, dating from 1910, is originally a Magahy instrument. 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
- A History Of Cabra And Phibsborough, Bernard Neary
- The 'Irish Builder' of February the 12th, 1903
-  Dictionary of Organs and Organists