Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow

Cathedral of the Assumption
Ardeaglais na Deastógála
Cathedral of the Assumption
Location in Ireland
52°50′13″N 6°55′40″W / 52.8370°N 6.9277°W / 52.8370; -6.9277Coordinates: 52°50′13″N 6°55′40″W / 52.8370°N 6.9277°W / 52.8370; -6.9277
Location College Street, Carlow, Ireland
Denomination Catholic
Status Cathedral
Style Gothic revival
Years built 5
Groundbreaking 7 April 1828
Completed 1833
Construction cost £9,000
Tower height 46 m (151 ft)
Materials limestone, white granite, oak
Parish Cathedral
Diocese Kildare and Leighlin
Province Dublin
Bishop(s) Denis Nulty

The Cathedral of the Assumption is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin located in Carlow town. The cathedral was dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1833. It is known for its beautifully detailed 151 ft (46 m) spire which is one of the highest points in town.[1]

Architect Thomas Cobden, designer of much of the adjacent college, designed the cathedral.[2] it was the second Catholic cathedral built in Ireland after Catholic Emancipation, after the Catholic Cathedral in Waterford. The tower and lantern was inspired by the Cloth Hall in Bruges, Belgium, building commenced on the cathedral 7 April 1829.[3]

Opposite the cathedral is a much larger, St. Mary's Church (Church of Ireland) which was built to be a Catholic church. The Cathedral is built beside St. Patrick's, Carlow College the former seminary of the Diocese, many students from the college were ordained in the cathedral.

View of nave

Controversy over Changes to the Altar

A parishioner took action in the Supreme Court against the Cathedral Administrator, Father John Byrne, and the trustees of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin in 1996 to prevent the re-ordering of the interior in line with the changes recommended by the Second Vatican Council.[4] The action was unsuccessful and the changes, including the removal of the altar rails and pulpit, went ahead.

The 2013 Christmas Eve mass was broadcast on RTÉ and the Christmas Day Eurovision mass celebrated by Bishop Denis Nulty was broadcast to Europe from the cathedral.[5] The 2003 Easter ceremonies were broadcast to Europe from Carlow as well.[6]



  1. McEvoy, Fr. John (2000). "History of the Cathedral". The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin. Carlow Cathedral. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  2. "St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church Carlow (Cathedral of the Assumption)". Ireland Genealogical Projects. 2001. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  4. "Cathedral alterations get go ahead". The Irish Times. 1 January 1997. Retrieved 2012-08-09. (subscription required (help)).
  5. "Christmas at the Cathedral 2013 – Mass Times". Carlow Cathedral. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  6. "Huge European audience for televised ceremonies Millions watch Easter ceremonies fromCarlow". Irish Independent. 25 April 2003. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
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