The Augustinians have long associations with Ballyboden.  In 1973, they were asked to take charge of the newly formed parish of Ballyboden and have been ministering in the parish since. This section briefly outlines the origins of the Order, its establishment and ministry in Ireland and more recently in Ballyboden.

Augustinian Order – Origins
Augustine lived during the 4th and 5th centuries AD; the Order which bears his name was one of the mendicant orders (like the Franciscan, Dominicans and Carmelites) which was founded in the 13th Century AD. Clearly, then, St. Augustine did not personally found the Order. What happened was that in the 13th Century, the Popes at the time (Innocent IV and Alexander IV) were faced with a large plethora of hermits and other religious groups in Italy, some with orthodox connections to the Church, others who were not so connected. At the same time, the Popes wanted to establish a mendicant order along the lines of the Franciscans etc and send such a group into the urban centres to preach the gospel. Some groups of hermits came together for this purpose (1244 and later in 1256) and the Pope gave them the rule of St Augustine. Out of this grew the Order of Hermit Friars of St.Augustine. The word ‘hermit’ was dropped from the title in 1968 after Vatican II.

It is Augustine’s Rule that forms the link between the Augustinian Order and Augustine himself. You could say that Augustine, if not the founder as such, was and is the founding inspiration for the Order. Besides the Rule, other aspects of Augustine’s spiritual teaching – his spirituality – serve to place the gospel in the hearts of people who hear it (‘Our hearts are restless until they rest in you’ Confessions). Other branches of the Augustinian religious family exist: Canon Regulars of St.Augustine, Augustinian Recollects, Discalced Augustinians, Augustinian Nuns (monastic), and various Augustinian Sisters’ orders who have Augustine’s Rule as the basic inspiration.

Links which give additional information on the Augustinian Order include:,,,
These websites combine history with elements of spirituality derived from St.Augustine.

Augustinians in Ireland
The Augustinians originally came to Ireland about 1275 – 1280.  Their first foundation was in Dublin in the present-day Temple Bar area, near Crowe Street. Other foundations followed and by the time of the Protestant Reformation, the Order had 22 foundations around Ireland. These foundations were all dissolved by Henry VIII in the mid-16th Century.  The friars were forced to go to mainland Europe for training for the priesthood, but many returned to Ireland quietly and lived among the people ministering in secret.
Despite the effects of the Penal Laws, the Irish Augustinian Province (established in 1620) survived and slowly the friars returned to some of their former abodes. From the early 18th century, Irish Augustinians worked in Australia and England.  Current Irish  Augustinian Houses are the following: Dublin ( Ballyboden, Orlagh, John’s Lane (Thomas St.), and Finglas (Rivermount)), Drogheda, New Ross (including Grantstown), Dungarvan, Cork, Fethard (Co. Tipperary),  Limerick, Galway and Rome (St.Patrick’s).
The Irish Augustinians also established missions in Nigeria (c.1940), and later in Ecuador and Kenya.

The website  contains further detailed information on the Augustinians in Ireland.  Further information and detail, including on spirituality, can be found on the website

Augustinians in Ballyboden
The Augustinian’s association with Ballyboden began with their purchase of Orlagh in 1872, on what is now Old Court Road, Tallaght. Up to 30 years ago, a candidate wishing to become an Augustinian began his period of formation by making his novitiate in Orlagh. This was a spiritual year, not a time for intensive study. It was also a time for testing during which both the Order and the candidate tried to judge whether or not he was suitable for life in the Augustinian community.  If he was thought suitable, he made temporary vows and then began the prescribed studies in  Philosophy and Theology  which lasted six years.

In the period before World War II, Irish Augustinians did these studies in Rome. The outbreak of war in September 1939 made it impossible to continue sending students to Rome.  A new priory built in Thomas Street for John’s Lane Church meant that the old priory there became available for the students who would otherwise have gone to Rome. Augustinians who had earlier graduated for the Gregorian University in Rome now took on the task of teaching the students.  The location, however, was not really suitable, especially in the days when the custom was to keep students segregated from the temptations of the outside world. There was no sports field or even a garden in which to take a stroll.

Eventually a property between Raheny and Coolock on the North side of the city was bought, and the students moved in on 11 November, 1948. In some ways it was a big improvement, as the area was still mostly open country, but it was much further from the university.  When the decision was taken to transfer the university from Earlsfort Terrace to a new campus  in Belfield in south Co. Dublin, it became clear that the students could not remain in Raheny.  Once again a hunt for an alternative site began and the choice fell on St. Catherine’s Ballyboden, which had been the residence of Mr Justice O’Byrne.  Work on the new student residence, dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel, began in 1955.

When the Augustinians were asked in 1973 to take charge of the newly formed parish, the oratory of the student-house was used for the week day Masses. The extra space needed to accommodate Sunday congregations was provided by opening  the folding partitions between lecture halls.  This arrangement continued until the parish church was opened by Archbishop Ryan on 4th October, 1981.

The three priests assigned to the Parish continued to live in the student  house but, as happened with most other religious orders, there was a big falling off during the seventies in the numbers of young men applying for admission. As a result of this most of the rooms were not being used.

It was decided that a smaller house more suited to the needs of the order in Ballyboden should be provided. This house, St. Augustines, was built in the grounds and formally opened in February, 1983. The original house was leased to the then Eastern Health Board.

Augustinian Priests and Brothers who ministered in the parish.

Parish Priests
Monsignor  Leo Sullivan, First Parish Priest.
His main goal during his period as Parish Priest was the building of the Parish Church (opened October 1981) and the reduction of the resulting parish debt.
A dedicated group of canvassers assembled by Monsignor Sullivan and under the direction of an active parish finance group gradually reduced this debt over the years.

Fr Padraig Daly was appointed Parish Priest in 1989. Fr Daly, who previously had been helping in Ballyboden, continued the work of Fr O’Sullivan.  The Church was maintained to a high standard and the debt was fully cleared.

Fr Greg Howard was appointed as the third Parish Priest of Ballyboden in 1997. A new Parish Team replacing the Parish Forum was set up in 2001. Fr Howard, together with the team, spearheaded the erection of the new railings and major improvements to the Church Grounds.

Fr. Padraig Daly returned to Ballyboden for a second term as Parish Priest in 2005.  He has been coordinating a major refurbishment of the Church Sanctuary and interior which after 32 years is now much needed. The refurbishment is being completed in 2013. Fr Daly was transferred to John’s Lane in 2013 and has been replaced by Fr. Flor O’Callaghan.

Fr Flor O’Callaghan was appointed Parish Priest in Septemeber, 2013, having ministered in Dungarvan for the previous 12 years.

A number of Augustinian priests were assigned as curates to the Parish and made a major contribution over the years. They included Fr Paddy Ryan OSA, Fr. Peter Haughey OSA, Fr. Tony Egan OSA, Fr Vincent McCarthy OSA, Fr Michael O’Sullivan OSA, Fr David Slater OSA, Fr Niall Coghlan OSA, Fr Pat Farrell OSA, Fr Paddy O’Reilly OSA, Fr Michael Brennock OSA, Fr John Lyng OSA. Fr Dick Lyng OSA, (currently serving) and Fr Noel Hession OSA (currently serving).

Fr Paddy Ryan OSA merits special mention.  He was curate in Ballyboden for so many years that he became known locally as the Pope of Ballyboden. Among his many accomplishments was the founding of the Youth Club with some local men who donated energy and labour.

Priests who assisted
Many Augustinian priests attached to St Augustines over the years frequently helped in the parish. They included four who were Provincials for a period, Fr Martin Nolan OSA, Fr Tom Cooney OSA, Fr John Byrne OSA, Fr Desmond Foley OSA. They also included Fr Gabriel Daly, OSA, Fr John Gough OSA, Fr David Kelly OSA, Fr Ben O’Donnell OSA, Fr Kieran O’Mahony OSA, Fr John O’Shea OSA and Fr Pat Tinney OSA

Augustinian Brothers.  Bro. Joachim OSA, Sacristan, and Bro.Andrew Caples OSA, St Joseph’s Youth Club made major contributions to the work of the parish.

In Loving Memory
The following have passed away and gone to their eternal reward

Br Andrew Caples OSA, Fr John Gough OSA, Br. Joachim OSA, Fr John OShea OSA, Fr Ben O’Donnell OSA, Fr Paddy Ryan OSA, Fr Pat Tinney OSA.

Mary, Mother of Good Counsel, pray for them.
May they rest in peace.