The New Ballagh Centre has a rich history, full of interesting antidotes.
Construction started on the Church of Ireland Chapel in 1850, across the road from a two roomed protestant schoolhouse that was built in 1830. Named simply as Ballagh Church, it was completed in 1851. Initially served by a ‘Travelling Rector’, Ballagh Church got its first permanent Rector, the first of four, Rev. Alexander Smullen in 1857. Rev. Flower was the last permanent Rector, who served until 1926. Served by travelling Rectors, the church closed in the 1960’s.
Falling into disrepair, the church was rescued by a group of local people who formed Rossinver Community Development Company. With workers from both sides of the border, Ballagh Church was transformed into the New Ballagh Centre. Local sisters, Maureen and Sharron Byrne designed and made the stained glass windows which are the pride of New Ballagh. The rafters which were hand carved in Rossinver Parish Hall were inspired by photographs of the original ones.
The original bell was found and although not yet restored to its former position, was erected on scaffolding to ring in the Millennium.
Now the New Ballagh Centre is a place for all of the community to come together. It is a place for friends to meet, to learn and to welcome all who visit.
For more information on the history of New Ballagh, please visit our blog.