JAMESTOWN: built in 1887
Prior to 1800 and the Act of Union four members
were returned to Parliament, 2 from Carrick 2 from the Borough
of Jamestown. This walled town and castle was built by Charles
Coote at a strategic point on the Shannon in 1621 and named
after the Stuart King James at the time of the Leitrim Plantation.
About 20 yrs later a Franciscan Friary was
established .it was short lived but its lay brothers took
charge of a school founded at a cost of £600 by Francis
O'Beirne, which Bishop MacNamee describes as the oldest school
then in the diocese.
The four churches in this parish were built
within a span of about 15 years; St. Mary of the Assumption,
Carrick 1870, St.Joseph's Leitrim 1866, Sacred heart Jamestown
1887 and st.Patrick's Gowel in 1892, Jamestown was renovation
job on a church built by a local landlord 1843 and closed
for 21 yrs. The tower of Carrick was a later addition built
with the strong support of Bishop Joseph Hoare who had been
parish priest here 1887 -95 What an amazing achievement: the
energy that must have been around, the leadership given, the
sacrifices made and the pride and confidence it must have
engendered in the Catholic community of the day. Canon Thomas
Fitgerald of Cartongeragh, Longford, was selected to be the
priest to see to it that Carrick would have a fine new church,
he was a bit of a specialist when it came to church building.
He had already St.Mary's Newtownforbes to his credit. Started
in 1873 the work was nearing completion when on 19th January
1875 disaster struck. A storm, the like of which was not heard
of since the Night of the Big Wind, virtually wrecked the
building. Like Sisyphus he resumed his task and, undeterred
by any superstition about dates, he had it ready to be solemnly
dedicated by the new Bishop, Bartholomew Woodlock, on 19 October
1879. By comparison with the modern era Kiltoghert's earlier
history seems so. It was the Magh Nisi part of Muintir Eoluis
where the Mag Ranall versus Mulvey rivalry was played out.
In 1492 when Columbus was rigging out the Nina, Pinta and
Santa Maria, O' Rourke had nothing better to occupy him than
burn the church in Kiltoghert and sixteen souls perished in
the flames. Kiltoghert was sometimes one of the seven parish
churches that made up the rectory of Muintir Eoluis.
MacNamee writes of the priests of Carrick
in glowing terms, Dr Dawson, a Granard man, was by bishop
O' Higgins' side in the stormy times of the Tithe War and
Catholic Emancipation, and was put forward for bishop on two
occasions. Dean Monahan who wrote the first history for the
diocese, was in charge of seven parishes in his time but lasted
only one year In Carrick: John McKeon who attended an execution
in Carrick Jail in 1817 and many more besides.