The Church of Saint John the Evangelist in Monkstown, co. Cork

 The Church of Saint John the Evangelist in Monkstown, co. Cork

The church was built in 1832 on land given by Daniel and Gerard Callaghan of Cork, who were the tenants of Thomas Pakenham (1774-1835), 2nd Earl of Longford, and John Vesey (1771-1855), 2nd Viscount de Vesci.

The two peers, who were the joint landlords of Monkstown Castle and the surrounding estate, also provided the income for the first vicar. The Earl of Longford was a brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, and together the Pakenham and Vesey family had inherited their interest in property in the Monkstown area through their shared descent from two heiresses, two granddaughters of Michael Boyle, Archbishop of Armagh.

But the church was built not through the generosity of these two aristocrats, but through the generosity of their tenants, the brothers Daniel Callaghan (1786-1849) and Gerard Callaghan of Cork. The Callaghan family had been the tenants of Monkstown Castle from the 1770s.

Gerard Callaghan was MP for Cork City and County as a Tory from 1826 to 1832. On the other hand, his brother Daniel Callaghan was an MP for Cork City and Cork County from 1830 to 1849, first as a Whig (1830-1849) and then as a member of the Irish Repeal Association, Daniel O’Connell’s effective political machine.

By the time the church was being built, the tenant of Monkstown Castle was Bernard Robert Shaw (1801-1880).

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