St. Peter`s Church Drogheda
St. Peter's Church Is among the finest Gothic Revival Churches in Ireland and is famous for housing the shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett. The first church on this site was constructed in 1791, and the present one - built in the 1880's - incorporates elements of the earlier structure. The imposing façade is built of local limestone. The lavish interior includes a special chapel which houses the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett (1625 – 81), the last Catholic martyr to die in England.
Plunkett was born at Loughcrew, near Oldcastle, Co. Meath. Educated by the Jesuits at the newly established Irish college in Rome, he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland in 1669. He was arrested in 1679 on false charges of plotting to bring a French Army into the country, and of organising Irishmen for rebellion. A trial at Dundalk collapsed in 1680. He was transferred to England and found guilty of high treason. In July, 1681, Plunkett was hanged, disembowelled and quartered at Tyburn. His remains were recovered immediately and entrusted to the Sienna Nuns of the Dominican Convent at Drogheda.
Plunkett was beatified in 1920, and canonised in 1975 by Pope Paul VI.
When Pope John Paul II visited Killineer just outside Drogheda in 1979, he recalled his own attendance at the canonisation of St. Oliver in Rome, four years earlier. The Relic of the Head had been brought to the field at Killineer for his visit and after he knelt and prayed before the Relic, Pope John Paul preached his famous sermon of peace and reconciliation to the congregation of three hundred thousand people.
To read more visit www.saintoliverplunkett.com.
Listen to some wonderful audio about drogheda - part of the Boyne Valley Drive
Drogheda Tourist Office The Tholsel West Street Drogheda
Mass in honour of St. Oliver Plunkett is held in St. Peter's, the last Saturday of every month (6.15pm).