Church of the Immaculate Conception, Castlewellan, Co Down
Kilmegan cannot boast of any churches founded by St Patrick, but there are two founded by disciples of Patrick in the period immediately after his death.
In the town land of Wateresk, there is an ancient cemetery which has been identified as the site of the church of St Cillen - the brother of St Donard. The name Cillen assumes among Irish saints the form Kelan and Coalan.
The late 17th and 18th century was a struggle for survival "The Catholic Church was ruthlessly suppressed, its buildings destroyed its friars knocked on the head, its priests transported to the Barbados".
The first registered parish priest of Kilmegan was Father Owen O Mullen, who appeared as required by the Act of 1704 at the local Quarter Sessions in Downpatrick in July 1704. He gave his age as 64 years, place of abode Slieveaniskey, and said he was ordained by Dr Patrick Plunket Bishop of Ardagh in 1664. He provided two securities of £50 each to guarantee "his compliance, his good behaviour, and not to move from the County of Down to another.
Rev William McMullan was appointed to the Parish in May 1796. It was during his time in the parish that the old Parish of Castlewellan was erected. Work began on the building in 1825 and was consecrated in 1827.
Fr James McAleenan appointed to the parish in 1843 was responsible for erecting the present church in Aughlisnafin.
Fr John McWilliams was responsible for the erection of the current St Malachy's Church which was dedicated in September 1884.
(info sourced from http://kilmeganparish.com/Kilmegan_Parish/index.htm)
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DetailsParish / Church: Castlewellan (Roman Catholic)
Council: Down District Council