I want to update you on our plans to improve the grounds at St Mary’s church.

As you know, we plan to undertake enhancement works around the church.  The key aim is to improve the appearance of the grounds, including the grotto,  and to regularise and better manage parking so that it is safer for pedestrians.

The enhancements will require a few steps:

Firstly, we wanted to get an understanding of drainage issues within the grounds, and to understand why there is ponding of water during heavy rain at a few locations.  We commissioned a drainage survey earlier this year, which has indicated that there are no major drainage issues and that we can improve the drainage situation with relatively minor works.

We asked a landscaping professional from the Council to look at trees within the grounds, as we were concerned that some of the roots were affecting boundary walls and coming close to the church.  Unfortunately, the report from the Council is not overly positive and confirmed some of our concerns while also raising new ones.  The report advised that for safety reasons and to avoid damage to walls and buildings, selective tree removal is needed.  There are particular concerns about vegetation along the southern boundary and the impact this is having on the retaining wall.  They also found evidence of ash die back in a tree to the front of the parochial house close to the traffic junction on the Moyglare road.  Given the safety concerns, we plan to proceed with tree felling work immediately.

Finally, we want to develop plans to refurbish and enhance the grotto, in a similar position and at similar height to the current grotto, and to pave and landscape the grounds.

Following the emergency ground works relating to the trees we intend to finalise a formal proposal for the grounds and to discuss this with Kildare County Council as the Church is a Protected Structure.  This is likely to take us well into 2024.

Thanks to parishioners generosity we are in a position whereby we can underwrite the ongoing cost of a Parish Youth Leader, as well as going a long way towards covering the once off cost of the ground improvement.


We will keep you updated on progress.