The statue of Our Lady was erected by the people of Dodsboro to celebrate and commemorate the Holy Marian Year of 1954.
It was unveiled and blessed by Lucan’s first Parish Priest Fr. Edmund Brennan, who had previously inspected and assured all that it was a genuine the “De Gynie” statue. On the day, he was assisted by Fr. Gilmore CC, and the choir sang their hearts out.
The Presentation Sisters while an enclosed order at the time, supplied the bunting and seating for the great occasion.
The statue was erected under the supervision of the Committee: Chairman J O’Brien, Sec. W. McLoughlin, Treas. M. Crea. Members – Mrs. R. Kelly, Mr. and Mrs W. Ging, Mr. and Mrs J. Conway, and Mr. McLoughlin.
We’re told that the Committee’s task was made very light, due to the splendid co-operation of every member of the community in Dodsboro, the work being completed by local and voluntary labour.
Pictured above: Some of the men on the day - Back L-R: Noel Gleeson, Tom Bevan and Mick Crea; Mid L-R: Peter Tutty, William McLoughlin, Jack O’Brien, Billy Ging; Front: Unknown, Fr. Brennan, Paddy Burke TD and Fr. Gilmore.
The car in the background to the right was more than likely Joe Dignam’s Taxi ‘ZD 7322’ – he was probably hired to bring the priests to the event. Joe ran a taxi service and an electrical repair and cycle shop where Carey’s Newsagents is now. A big part of his taxi work was driving the old people from Dodsboro to the Sunday Masses, long before buses went that way.
Buses first came to Dodsboro in 1960s, turning at the Statue like today, and making life a whole lot easier for residents.
Some members of the Choir
L-R: Lena Thornberry, Marie Grahame, Nancy Clinton Kathleen Speight, Rita Weldon, Breda McCarthy, Ellis McCarthy, who sang at the unveiling of the statue in 1954.
At the blessing of the statue in 1954 were Mrs. Monaghan with daughters - Rosaleen in her arms, and Jean and Licia.
When the statue was first erected, it stood alone on the pedestal with no protection from the elements. In 1970, it was decided to approach the people of Dodsboro once again for their co-operation and financial assistance in redecorating the statue and upgrading the site.
The Committee then consisted of Chairman J. O’Brien, Sec. J. Keane, Treas. M. Crea, and members D. Rankin, J. Conway, D. Byrne P. Brady and Brian Conway. Granite was acquired from the Wicklow Mountains, and Dinny Byrne who was the chief architect and builder constructed the canopy with the assistance of the locals.
Barbara and Audrey Gleeson who made their Confirmation in 1966, posed at the grotto on their way home from St. Mary’s, as was customary in those days.
Because the population of Lucan was so small, the sacrament was administered only every three years, and it was usual for families to have a couple of children being confirmed together.
Audrey and Barbara visited the site again this week, after the statue and site has been spruced up for the 60th anniversary.
The Rosary is recited every evening during May and October since 1954.
A Protected Structure
Around 2007 there was controversy about the Grotto as planning permission had been applied for to build apartments on land adjacent to it. There was a suggestion/proposal to move the Grotto to somewhere else.
Local residents were very concerned about this and approached their local public representatives. At least two public meetings were held where local people made their objection known on the matter.
The result was that South Dublin County Council designated the Grotto as a ‘Protected Structure’ that could not be moved at any time in the future.
Re-dedication of the Marian Shrine May 14th 2014
There was a great turnout for the re-dedication of the Marian Shrine in Dodsboro on Wednesday night.
Fr. John Hassett did the honours assisted by the organising committee. It was great to see all those who would have been around when the statue was first blessed and catch up on old times – lots of stories about First Communions, Confirmations, the bus going to Dodsboro and many others.
Some of the old brigade! Noeleen and Sonny Eiffe, Audrey Gleeson, Barbara Gleeson, Trish O’Shaughnessy, Tess Keogh, Agnes Dignam, Mary Malone, Jim Cullen, Betty Fallon, Jean Conway, Phyllis Maher and Liz Fallon (mostly maiden surnames!)