Constructed in 1955, St. Joseph’s Church was officially opened by the Bishop of Kerry, Dr. Denis Moynihan on the 24th January, 1956.
Canon John Lane decided to build a church in Direen so that parishioners would no longer have to travel to Cahersiveen or Waterville for Mass.
The site for the church was donated by a local farmer, Michael Lynch. It was designed by architect, Boyd Barrett and the building contractor for construction stage was Messrs. Cleary of Charleville, County Cork. Every household was requested by Canon Lane to donate £25 which is equivalent to E750 in 2014. Locals also volunteered for the construction work.
The church was built of concrete blocks with stone quarried in The Glen on exterior front and the roadside boundary wall. The church was finished with a copper roof. The altar is made from Connemara marble, the pews from mahogany.
In 2006, St. Joseph’s Church celebrated its Golden Jubilee with the Bishop of Kerry, Dr. William Murphy celebrating Mass. Refreshments were then provided in the local National School, Aghatubrid for the parishioners and the many visitors and natives who returned to Direen for this special celebration.
Since 1955, the church has remained largely unchanged in both its style and structure although an extension was built to the rear to facilitate the large crowds attending 10.30am Mass on Sundays.
Below : A large gathering for the opening of the new church in Direen
(Article and photographs supplied courtesy of Veronica Lynch, Direen)