History of The Church:
The former St. Mary’s Church of Ireland is one of the earliest examples of a galleried church in Dublin.
Built at the beginning of the 18th century, the church boasts many outstanding features, including the Renatus Harris built organ and the spectacular stained glass window. The original St. Mary’s closed in 1964, remaining neglected until it was purchased by John Keating in 1997. Following an extensive seven year restoration, this List 1 building finally re-opened its doors in December 2005 as John M. Keating’s Bar.
Following the refurbishment of this Dublin landmark, it was acknowledged at the Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards in 2006, winning first prize in the Best Old Building category.
In September 2007 the building was acquired by new owners and renamed “The Church Bar & Restaurant.” Afterwards, the range of services offered grew to include a Café, Night Club and a BBQ area on the terrace.
The minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands has classified the building as one of intrinsical historical interest.
Click here to find out more StMarys’s Church History
We operate a Self Guided History Tour Everyday from open until 5pm, You can download the PDF here:The Church_SelfGuidedTourBrochure
Important historical figures associated with St. Mary’s include:
Arthur Guinness – Founder of Guinness Brewery – married here in 1761.
Sean O’Casey – Playwright & Author of ‘The Plough & The Stars, “Juno & The Paycock’ & ‘The Shadow of a Gunman’ – baptised here in 1880.
Theobald Wolf Tone – United Irishmen Founder – baptised here in 1763
John Wesley – Founder of the Methodist Church, delivered his first Irish sermon here in 1747
Jonathan Swift – Author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral attended services here.
The Earl of Charlemont and Irish Volunteer attended services here.
George Frederic Handel’s Messiah was first publicly performed in Dublin in April 1742 on Fishamble Street. It is known that he regularly used the organ here to practice.
Buried within the grounds are:
Mary Mercer – Founder of Mercer’s Hospital
Lord Norbury –“The Hanging Judge” Ordered the execution of Robert Emmett in 1803.
Here at The Church we are extremely proud of our unique connection with some of Dublin’s literary greats. Some of the world’s most prolific writers were born and raised in our great city. As a world recognised endorsement, Dublin is the fourth UNESCO City of Literature. For more please visit dublincityofliterature.ie“Self Guided Tour” available in The Church everyday between 11am and 4pmUse the attached link to trace your ancestry and view all the Memorials that adorn the walls of The Church “