The Annunciation window in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Allen - one of the works of William Earley
The church was renovated in the 1920s (during the pastorate of Rev. John Kane) with money bequeathed for this purpose by Rev. Edward Lawlor. All the windows in the original church were of plain quarry glass.
In the mid 1920s, Rev. John Kane planned to install windows of ornamental glass in the church and he approached Joshua Clarke & Sons, stained glass artists of North Frederick St, Dublin, to carry out this work. A memo from this company outlines the work to be done:
“22 Memorial windows of ornamental glass at £10 each including carriage and erection of same.
15 Windows to exhibit in order symbols of the 15 Mysteries of the Rosary and the remaining 7 windows to exhibit in order symbols of the 7 Dolours of the B.V.M. … the windows to be made and erected according as donations come in, so that the parish priest is under no obligation to order more than one window at a time, or to complete the order for all the windows within any specified time.”
In addition, in order to improve the ventilation in the church, it was decided to make an opening in the new fibrous plaster roof and install a ventilator. This ventilator was removed in 2003 when the church was re-roofed. Some minor repair work was carried out on the roof of the church in the early 1960s.
Rev. Kane also purchased Annesborough House in Robertstown as a residence for the priests of the parish in 1926.
The Sacred Heart window is the centrepiece of the stained-glass windows
in the sanctuary
Change of plan
However, Rev. John Kane was transferred to Kildare Parish in 1926 and Rev. Daniel O’Rourke succeeded him as parish priest. Fr. O’Rourke decided not to install the ornamental windows approved by Fr. Kane.
During Fr. O’Rourke’s pastorate, five stained glass windows were installed in Allen Church. The three stained glass windows behind the high altar, representing the Holy Family, are the work of J. Clarke and Co. and were donated by Bridget Walshe and Catherine Dunne of Robertstown, in memory of their parents James and Catherine Callan and their brothers and sisters. They bear the inscriptions: ‘Mother of God Pray for Us’, ‘My Jesus Mercy’, ‘St Joseph Pray for Us’.
It is also believed that Catherine Dunne, who had a shop in Robertstown where Charlie Weld’s shop is today, may have subscribed money towards the buying of Annesborough House.
Work of William Earley
The two stained glass windows, one to the right and one to the left of the high altar, are the work of William Earley, who was born in Dublin on 11th September 1872. He was a director of Earley & Co. for many years. This firm closed down in 1975. These two windows represent the Annunciation (see image at the top of this section) and the Sacred Heart (below) and bear the following inscriptions:
‘Erected by Mary Ann Callan in memory of her Parents, Brothers, Sisters and Friends R.I.P. 1928.’
‘To the greater honour of God and begging the blessing of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on the people of this Parish and their Pastor Rev. D. O’Rourke PP who erected this window 1928.’
(The Stations of the Cross in the church were restored in 2003 by William Earley, grand-nephew of the same William Earley whose windows are described above.)
The Sacred Heart window in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Allen - another of the works of William Earley