Newly restored gate piers to St Audoen’s Church on High Street have been unveiled, including two beautifully repatinated copper lanterns. The restoration of decorative metalwork and lamps was overseen by 7L Architects, with support from Dublin City Council through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and the Shopfront Improvement Scheme. The project is the first phase of work to refurbish the full length of railings and their plinths.
Built between 1841 and 1847 to the neoclassical design of Patrick Byrne (who also designed nearby St. Paul’s Church on Arran Quay and ‘Adam & Eve’s’ Church on Merchant’s Quay), St Audoen’s Catholic Church was part of the wave of mid-19C church building that followed Catholic Emancipation. The church was built in the neoclassical style with black calp stone. The granite portico was added later, designed by George Ashlin, and Ashlin also added the ornamental railings and gate piers to the High Street entrance. The church originally featured a dome, which sat at the junction of the nave and transcepts, but this collapsed in 1880s and was replaced by a flat ceiling. The church dominates views of the area, particularly when viewed from the north. The church has fine interiors and sculptures, including two huge clam-shell basins for holy water at the entrance. The basins were donated to the church in 1917 by a sea captain as a gift to his brother, the then parish priest.
The church is now home to the Polish chaplaincy in Ireland and has an active congregation.