A Brief History of Lucan South

(Balgaddy / Ballyowen) Thanks to Mary Mulhall for the following information.


Situated in what was once The Royal Manor of Esker, Balgaddy lies along one of the oldest routes in Ireland of old. The old road from Lucan to Clondalkin, passing through Balgaddy, was part of the route from Royal Tara to The House of Hospitality in Tallaght. There are just small sections of this road left now, as modern road networks take over.

Balgaddy, on the border between Lucan and Clondalkin, was in the Parish of Clondalkin, along with Lucan until 1953, when Lucan became a parish in its own right, taking Balgaddy with it. Since long before then, the people of Balgaddy made the long trudge to the Church and schools in Lucan – a long journey by today’s standards! Like the Lucan people, they travelled to the Parish Church in Clondalkin at Confirmation time.

The Bush of Balgaddy

Many years ago, there was a famous Bush of Balgaddy which formed part of the boundary line between the parishes of Lucan and Clondalkin.

Catherine Murray at The Bush of Balgaddy back in the 70's (from Lucan Old & New)

Legend has it that back in the old days, a priest called to a house beside the bush, for shelter on a stormy night. The people in the house turned him away because he had performed a marriage, which was not popular in the area. The priest then sheltered in a nearby shed, but before he went, he said that the grass would grow around the door of the house, that the bush would fall and that the name of those who turned him away would never again be in the Bush House.

Old people say that this came to pass. The bush did fall, but was replaced by another, which vanished when development began in this area. According to Deasmhumhan MacCarthaigh in "Gleanings from the District of Lucan", the new bush was an ‘unworthy successor’. The bush grew at the old junction of Clondalkin Road / Lynch’s Lane. Today there no sign of either house or bush!

The Local

St Judes, Balgaddys last pub before the Penny Hill arrived!

Did you know that back in the early part of the century, Balgaddy had its own pub? The present country house called St. Judes (beside the roundabout at Earlsfort) was the local hostelry. The population of Balgaddy in 1901 was 85. Goodwin’s Shop was the only other commercial business in the area.


Ballyowen is mostly famous for its Norman Castle with its lofty turret. In 1640, this castle was rated as having five hearths, so it was a small castle of its day, compared to Lucan Castle, which had 12 hearths. (Rates were assessed by the number of chimneys a building had – perhaps that is why small workers cottages only had a hole for the smoke to flow through!)

In 1630, it was occupied by a Catholic, Mr. Nottingham, who married a sister of William Sarsfield of Lucan. Like the Sarsfields, he was evicted from his property during the Commonwealth. However, after the Restoration in 1660, the Nottinghams regained possession. The family also owned a castle in Finnstown and a mill in Esker.

During penal times, the estate was owned by a Mr.Geraghty who, had a brother a priest. Local legend has it that the priest hid in the castle, but was soon discovered by soldiers, whereon he is said to have thrown his chalice into a holy well in a nearby field, and escaped through a secret tunnel which ran to Hermitage. It was said that up till recently, the waters of the well could be heard running underneath the castle.

In 1733, the Bellews were the owners and following them, the property was owned by a family called Rochfort, who had a lot of land in the area around 1850. At this time the estate contained 283 acres.

Ballyowen Castle in 1906

By 1900 all that remained of the castle was a tower, with a modern farm building at the base. Traces of an old fosse could also be found in the surrounding fields, where today’s modern housing estates are standing. In 1901, the populations was 52. Ballyowen Castle is now the home of Eurospar.

A portion of the castle is preserved, so next time you visit the centre, check out the built-up remains of old doorways, windows and steps in the stonework.

Divine Mercy and Lucan South

Today the areas of Balgaddy and much of Ballyowen form part of a thriving community with its own church and school, and in December 1995 this area became a parish in its own right. Now the new parish of Divine Mercy, Lucan South lies between Lucan and Clondalkin.


In a country such as this where there is a long tradition of Christianity, it is very easy to have your child baptised out of habit. If you ask to have your child baptised, you will be asked to make a promise that you will bring the child up to know and love God and to live by the values of Jesus Christ.

You will be asked to make a commitment to teach your child to pray and to bring them to Mass. You will also be asked to choose godparents who will be good role models for the child and who will support the child in their Christian faith. Godparents should be practising Catholics, full members of the Church.

Parents who wish to have a child baptised are invited to attend a preparation meeting beforehand where there will be an opportunity to talk about this important occasion in the life of your family and answer any questions you may have.

Baptism meetings normally take place on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm, check out the most recent Newsletter to confirm when the next meeting is scheduled.

If you require any further information please contact the parish secretary on 01 4572900 or talk to one of the parish baptism team after Sunday Mass.

To ensure an intimate setting for your child’s Baptism and a dignified celebration, we limit the number of babies for Baptism to four.


Church of Divine Mercy,
Balgaddy Road,
County Dublin,
K78 NH05

The church is located on Balgaddy Road just off the Fonthill Road in Lucan County Dublin

Map for Church of Divine Mercy


Open Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 12.30 pm
Parish Secretary: Dympna Synnott
Telephone: 01 4572900
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Parish Team

Fr. John Laizer C.S.Sp. - Team Assistant 

Fr Dominic Kwikiriza - Team Assistant

Fr Ubaldo Muhindo - Team Assistant

Rev. Joe Walsh - Permanent Deacon

Sr. Mary & Sr Hieu Thao (Our lady of the Mission)  -  Ph. 01 6219088

Christopher Okereke - Parish Pastoral Worker -  Ph.  01 4572900


Child Protection Officers
Ms Elaine Lacy, Ms Geraldine Mulhall, Ms Lorraine Conway & Mr Alex Byrne

They can be contacted through the Parish Office - phone 01 4572900



Sunday Mass Times

Saturday Vigil: 6:30pm
Sunday: 10:30am Family Mass and 12:00pm


Monday - Friday: 9:15am
Saturdays & Bank Holidays: 10:00am

Holy Days

Holy Days: 9:15am & 7:00pm


Saturday: after 10:00am Mass and on request.