Cathedral Restoration

Thank You

A restoration project of such significance is dependent on many coming together to support it.  This is especially true of the hundreds of donors who generously contributed to this historic initiative.  I am very grateful for the commitment, confidence and financial donations to ensure the successful completion of the Cathedral restoration.

This Mass of Thanksgiving is in recognition of all benefactors.  It reflects the great community who came together from 2019 until 2022 to fund the work – with some over that period being called home to the Lord whom we remember today.  It is encouraging to see the tremendous involvement of parishioners, local businesses, religious orders, clergy, family and friends with a connection to the Cathedral and the region.

In addition to the donors, I want to make special mention of the Parish Finance Committee.  Their leadership, guidance and expertise were essential every step of the way.  The late Tony McGrath (RIP) who served as Chair was especially instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

Throughout the pandemic, our trust in God and prayer provided us with solace.  These also encouraged us to proceed with the Cathedral restoration, drawing on our faith and hope for this sacred space.  

Yours gratefully,

Fr Pat Farragher, Adm

‘I have not stopped giving thanks for you, 

remembering you in my prayers’,

Ephesians 1:16.


October 17th 2021

Dear Parishioners, 

With the generosity of almost 500 donations, we are pleased to share that the Cathedral restoration fundraising campaign has successfully concluded.  For the past two years, your support has remained steadfast – despite lockdowns, restrictions and ensuing delays.  The beautifully restored Cathedral is a testament to your encouragement, commitment and patience, for which we are extremely grateful.  For those who made pledges/standing orders, we appreciate your continued payments.  With these promises, we have been able to close out the active fundraising period.

Giving is mentioned several times across many books of the Bible.  We see this theme throughout the Old Testament, from as early as Exodus to the New Testament with the ultimate demonstration of it – God giving His only Son for us.

On a number of occasions during the pandemic, in this newsletter, we have referenced St. Paul’s letters to the early Christians.  His second letter, written from Macedonia around the year 55, is to the Corinthians.  In it, Paul explains the benefits and opportunities of generosity (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) – ‘Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’

 We look forward to celebrating a special Mass of Thanksgiving for all contributors when we are permitted to have the Cathedral to full capacity.  As mentioned, on that day, we will have a golden book on display (and subsequently placed in the Sacristy) – acknowledging donors.

A sincere ‘thank you’,

Fr. Pat Farragher Adm.

September 5th 2021

Dear Parishioners,

It was a great occasion to hold the Confirmation ceremonies in the refurbished Cathedral last weekend.  This was the first special event involving parishioners since the reopening and we were delighted, especially to see the young people receive this significant Sacrament.  We were pleased too to learn during the week of the easing of government restrictions and look forward to welcoming more back to church services.

As life and parish activity returns to (the new) normal, it was a good opportunity for the Parish Finance Committee to convene to finalise the costings of the Cathedral Restoration project.  The following are the key points arising from that meeting:

  • The refurbishment is now concluded, with all initial work planned complete
  • Additional elements were undertaken during the project including the replacement of the entire Cathedral flooring; enhanced lighting throughout the Cathedral (the original intention of both was just for the Sanctuary area); and a higher-spec public-address system
  • The total cost of the refurbishment was €2.6m which includes the above extras, along with the unexpected four-month layoff during the height of the public health restrictions
  • This total has been paid for through parish reserves (€400,000), the significant donation of the late Joe O’Toole (€1 million) and the tremendous generosity of parishioners, local businesses, clergy, religious orders and friends of Tuam – both close to home and internationally
  • Almost €1.2 million has been raised/pledged through our fundraising campaign
  • Of 450 contributions, 25% have pledged their gift, meaning the donation will be received over a period of time.  These pledge payments are critical to the overall funding of the refurbishment and we are grateful for their continued receipt
  • As a result of this unprecedented support, there is just €5,898 left to raise towards our target of €1.2m!  We are hopeful of securing this amount from parishioners who may not yet have had a chance to consider their involvement.  Anything raised above the €1.2m will be put towards replenishing the parish reserves

Throughout the campaign, we have been overwhelmed by the commitment, interest and goodwill of donors.  Collectively we have placed our mark on the town’s history and importantly, we have ensured the legacy of this sacred space.  When we are able to have the Cathedral to full capacity, we will celebrate this wonderful achievement together with a Mass of Thanksgiving.

In heartfelt gratitude

Fr Pat Farragher Adm.

Cathedral Restoration Update – June 2021

With workers back on site, the Cathedral restoration is on track for completion by late Summer (all going well with any future restrictions or government guidelines).  Currently the stonework is being done for the sanctuary and altar; the painting has started; and the ‘behind the scenes’ critical electrical and heating elements are underway.  The sound system is the next major piece of the project.

In parallel, the fundraising campaign has continued.  We are very grateful for the support, commitment and generosity of so many parishioners, local business owners, religious congregations, clergy and friends from across the Diocese and beyond.  Over the coming weeks, we hope to draw the fundraising to a successful conclusion.  If not already done so, please consider:

  1. Donating to the Cathedral restoration – additional information is available in the Parish Centre (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) or in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel
  2. Contributing at a level right for you – the average pledge is ~€10 per week, paid monthly over a three-year period for a total of €1,486
  • Some parishioners are making one-off donations, others are pledging their gifts over a specific duration
  • Some are giving more than the average, others less
  1. Making your decision by 11 June – at that stage, we will be completing the list of donors to be placed in the Preserving Our Future time capsule to be opened in 2121 by a new generation of Tuam parishioners

All gifts/pledges can be:

  • made at the Parish Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • posted to the priests’ attention
  • dropped off in a special box located in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel

A huge ‘thank you’ to the more than 350 parishioners who have contributed to date.  With an additional 50-100 parishioners giving during the next few weeks, we can ensure the successful close out of the fundraising.  

We appreciate you joining the campaign in a way appropriate to you so that together we can ensure the legacy of our spiritual home.  


Cathedral Restoration – February 2021

With a potential easing of construction site restrictions next month, we are hopeful work can resume on site at the Cathedral. 

In the meantime, any tasks that can be done off site are continuing – for example stonework and units for the sacristy.  On site activity ceased on 8 January 2021, in line with Government guidelines.  Up to that point, the project was on track – with the gas line laid in October 2020; the new sanctuary started in November 2020; and work on the altar commenced in December 2020.

Over the past few months, we have also been progressing the fundraising for the Cathedral restoration.  Parishioners have been very supportive and we are very grateful for everyone’s generosity.  

Hopefully by now all parishioners should have received information on the project in the post, providing some additional background and outlining potential ways you could contribute to it.  If not, please contact the parish office.  In reviewing the material, it may be helpful to know:

Why emphasise pledges?

The campaign encourages pledging because it allows individuals and families the opportunity to consider larger commitments than they could usually make in a one-off donation. This is important because of the significant goal in raising €1m+.

How are the suggested gift levels determined?

A gift amount is suggested as an example for each parishioner to consider. We have no knowledge of anyone’s financial situation. The requests are based on the need for a number of gifts at all levels to raise €1m+. Further to the at-Mass surveys in 2019, we took on board parishioners’ comments and provided a wider range of giving options.

Can I decide which amount to give?

Yes. These are suggestions only and serve to provide guidance on what giving levels are needed to ensure we achieve our goal. All gift amounts are gratefully received.

Why am I asked to complete a pledge form?

We wish to appropriately record and acknowledge all gifts. Practical information includes the payment schedule selected, allowing us to plan cash flow etc. Parishioners are asked to sign a pledge form as a good faith commitment, indicating that they have agreed to the terms of the gift indicated. It is not a legally binding document. 

How should subsequent payments be made?

You may choose to pay on your pledge monthly, quarterly or annually. While many parishioners set up standing orders, some prefer to write cheques or make a bank transfer.  All of this detail, along with the bank information, is included on the pledge form.

What if my financial situation changes and I am unable to fulfill my pledge? 

Your pledge is made in good faith. Should difficulties arise, making it impossible for you to continue your payments, please notify the Parish Centre to this effect. 

Can I give through my company?

Yes. When a company makes a donation, it can receive tax relief.  It simply claims a tax deduction (12.5%) on the donation as if it were a trading expense.


Cathedral Restoration Update October 18 2020

Since Monday, 12 October 2020 the Cathedral has been closed for the restoration work.  Understanding the broader public health challenges, the plan at this stage is to be back in the Cathedral by Easter 2021.  

Further to a rigorous tender process, we are delighted that JJ Rhatigan has been awarded the contract.  As a local company, many parishioners will be familiar with this family-owned, long-established business.  

Throughout the project, we will share updates on major milestones in the parish newsletter and website.

Pre the pandemic, we had commenced the fundraising and were pleased with our initial success.  We are very grateful for the generosity and commitment to date from parishioners, local businesses and friends of the Cathedral both in Tuam and further afield.

We hope to resume the fundraising in the coming weeks.  Many parishioners have been expressing their interest in providing financial support and we will share details next month, if the timing is right for you to contribute. 

In getting to this point – from both the restoration work and fundraising perspectives – we have given a lot of consideration to the best options and timing.  There has been much consultation with the Finance Committee and architects.  We are confident we have made the right decision for our Parish.  With the grace of God and the intercession of Our Lady and  St. Jarlath, we look forward to the preservation of our sacred home, one beloved by this and past generations.  The restored Cathedral will be our legacy. 

Cathedral Restoration

May 2/3 2020

Dear Parishioners,                                                      

This weekend marks the start of May, the month of Mary.  Our Cathedral is named in honour of Our Lady Assumed into heaven and so it is fitting now to share an update on the restoration.

With the wide encouragement of the Parish, we committed to undertaking Phase II.  We are steadfast in our promise to complete this project.  Due to Covid-19 and elements beyond our control, the timeline has been impacted.  As you may remember, we had hoped to commence the work this month.

Over the past few weeks, we have been liaising with the architects.  We are discussing our options, mindful of considerations such as – government restrictions on building works and the timing of the tender process to ensure the most economical outcome.  In particular, we want to ensure the Cathedral is available to parishioners when most needed, given the current trying times.  It is and will provide a special place of comfort and solace to us all.  We are aware too of the need for the Cathedral to be available at key points in the liturgical calendar.

In a very different world, pre Covid-19, we were making good progress – on the fundraising and preparatory steps – for example obtaining fire and disability access certificates.  All contributions made to date are being held in a ring-fenced fund especially for the Cathedral restoration.

After careful consultation with the experts, along with praying for guidance, we will make the best decision for the Parish.  It will not be one taken lightly.  We are resolute and will persevere – with the intercession of Our Lady and St. Jarlath.

We are very grateful for your support and generosity and will update you further in the coming weeks.

May Our Lady assumed into Heaven Pray for us.


Fr. Pat Farragher, Adm.


Notice included in the Parish Newsletter on December 21/22 2019

Over the past few weeks, we have commenced the fundraising for the Cathedral restoration.  We are pleased with our progress at this early stage and are extremely grateful for parishioners’ positive response and especially their generosity.

There are many ways to fundraise – from organising events to holding second collections at weekend Masses.  Given the significance of the project and the financial goal, we are ensuring a personal approach which is the most effective for an initiative of this scale.  Father Pat and Father Seán are meeting with as many parishioners as possible on a one-to-one basis.  This allows the opportunity to ask questions and gives the space to make a decision that is right for each family.  As you can appreciate, this takes time and we intend to continue into the 2020.

All giving is voluntary.  Our hope is that when you are contacted, please be open to learning more about the restoration and considering how you can support this special work.

In the meantime, please pray for our continued success and remember previous generations who enabled us to have this sacred place of worship.


Tuam Cathedral helpful info

Tuam Cathedral helpful info2


east window

Conservation and Restoration Project on the O Connor East Window in the Cathedral of the Assumption Tuam (Photo: Daithí Quinn)

The East Window was created in 1832 and is the work of Michael O Connor of Dame Street Dublin.  It is one of the finest examples of pre-famine stained glass in Ireland.  Between March and August 2019 all panels of the window underwent full repair and conservation.   This repair was deemed necessary as some of the stained glass pieces had begun to fall to the ground and there was significant water ingress through the window and tracery during recent winters. The pointing in the limestone tracery of the window and the surrounding gable wall was completely raked out and replaced with lime-based pointing as part of the restoration process.