Following the regular 10am Mass on Friday 22 December 2023, the parishioners of St Mary’s Church, Castleblayney, together with others, marked the blessing and official opening of a new and much-needed car park adjacent to the church. This new facility is the result of astute planning by the parish leadership team and the generosity of the parishioners of Muckno and also that of people from adjoining parishes and areas – despite the reality that much of the fundraising had to be conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic when the church was closed.
The new car park is located on a piece of property, known for decades as Mallons. This well-known property came on the market in early 2020 and the parish was only able to purchase it quickly due to the outstanding generosity of people who donated various sums of money so that that parish could acquire it to provide parking for churchgoers, thus addressing a long running issue of parking provision in that area of the town. This need was particularly acute at Mass times and when other events were held at the church. The new car park can accommodate up to 80 cars and it is landscaped to enhance the surrounding area.