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Carlow Cathedral of the Assumption

Bishop James Doyle, a staunch advocate of Catholic freedom in Ireland during a time of British oppression, built this attractive church in 1833. Two previous churches had stood on this site, the first dating to the late 1780s, but by the early 19th century, with Catholics more willing to congregate in the open, numbers were swelling and a new building was required. Funds of £9,000 pounds raised by Carlow parishioners for the cathedral's construction, which was a huge sum at that time.



The cathedral features many remarkable stained glass windows, including a depiction of Saint Patrick preaching to Ireland's Gaelic Kings. The window was created by German company Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich in the 19th century. The church also contains original pieces of furniture such as the bishop’s chair and stalls. John Hogan, an Irish sculptor, has created an impressive set of marble sculpted figures that are housed here, depicting

  • Bishop James Doyle praying for the restoration of his country
  • The country of Ireland personified as a young woman

Note: Be aware that the cathedral is still an active church. Visitors should observe mass times, and remain silent when entering. 

Official Site


Carlow Cathedral exterior. Image: Michael Frey

Carlow Cathedral. Image: Nico Kaiser

Saint Patrick preaching to the Kings. Image: Andreas Franz Borchert


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