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Crotty Church in Birr, Co Offaly was formerly a Presbyterian Meeting House built in 1839 that gave its name to the "Crotty Schism". This is the largest schism ever recorded in the Irish Catholic Church where 90% of the parish moved to the Reformed Church of Birr, led by Father Michael Crotty.

The break from the church lasted from 1826 to around 1840 and was led by Fr. Michael Crotty and his cousin Fr. William Crotty. The two-storey building is important as a piece of architectural heritage with its pointed arched windows, Tudor arched door and fine ashlar façade. But it is especially important also as a reminder of the social and religious history of Birr. It is no longer in use as a church and it may not be possible to enter the interior.

Nearby is an interesting building called The Maltings, which has a clock tower on its roof. This could be confused with Crotty Church, but The Maltings is a four-storey stone building that was a former malt house for the Guinness company, built c.1800. This well-preserved historic building, situated along the river, has been used as a B&B and restaurant in recent years.

Both buildings are next to the Castle St. Car Park, with Crotty Church on the corner facing Castle Street.

Why we like it
  • Important in the religious history of Ireland.
  • Has interesting architectural features like a Tudor arched door and pointed arched windows.
  • A visit to the heritage town of Birr is like traveling back in time, with many lovely places to explore.
Free to visit
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Contact details
Townparks, Co. Offaly, R42 D362, Ireland
Visit duration

We recommend planning to spend up to 30 minutes here.

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