Cathedral Saint Patrick's Church
Diocese of Down and Connor
For 200 years, St Patrick’s has provided for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the people of inner-city Belfast as well as city workers and visitors to the city.
St Patrick’s first church was the second pre-emancipation Catholic Church built in the city of Belfast since the Reformation.
The Parish records we hold go back to April 1798, the year of the Irish Rebellion. This parish has contributed much to the faith and development of the city. As Belfast grew in huge numbers during the 19th Century, from 75,000 to 225,000, so did the parish.
Fr William Crolly, the first Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Parish, was ordained Bishop of Down and Connor and was later made Archbishop of Armagh.
St Patrick’s has been the place of consecration of a number of diocesan bishops. From here Bishop Denvir and his successor Bishop Patrick Dorrian, who lived on Donegall St, invited the Christian Brothers and the sisters of Mercy to work with them, setting up schools and a hospital, and after 130 years they still continue their valuable work in education and care of the sick.
This parish is steeped in history but our parish has suffered a great deal of tragedy and suffering, from the murder and mayhem of the 1920’s to the destruction by the German Luftwaffe, in the bombing of the city in 1941, to the McGurk’s Bar Bomb of 1971 and the murderous campaign of the Shankill Butchers, a loyalist gang which actively sought out Catholics.
199 Donegall Street, Belfast , Belfast, República de Irlanda