The curacy of Cleariestown contains the two ancient parishes of Ballyconnick and Kilmannon. The tower, dating from Norman times, of the old church of Kilmannon still stands in the old cemetery. It was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Mannon. Only a small part of the old church of Ballyconnick remains. It was dedicated to Saint Degumen whose feast day was observed on 26th August. In Norman times the church was re-dedicated to Saint Anne. In the Penal times, a Mass-house was built in Cleariestown in the ownland of Croase.
The present Church of the Assumption and St. Mannion was errected in the early nineteenth century. Towards the end of the century the interior was renovated. One of the early high altars was a wooden one designed by Augustus Welby Pugin for Tagot church. Its fate is unknown. Some time before 1900 three galleries were erected. A terrazzo floor was laid by Italian craftsmen about 1990. The stained-glass window in the sanctuary dates from 1911. The two statues, one of Our Lady and the other of Saint Joesph, were placed in the church in the 1930’s. With the liturgical changes introduced by Vatican 11, the high altar was dismantled and a smaller one constructed, the galleries and altar rails were removed, the porch enlarged and the direction of the entrance doors changed.
A new altar and reredos, donated by the Sisters of the Holy Faith, The Coombe, Dublin, were installed in January 1998; and the choir gallery was restored the folllowing year.
(Information courtesy of ‘Churches of the Diocese of Ferns’ book)
Parish Priest: Fr. Kevin Cahill