Inchicore is home to two major churches: the Church of Mary Immaculate [Oblates] and St. Michael's which I did not photograph today but I hope to do so in the not too distant future.

Back in the 1970s I had a job that I really hated and every morning I passed this church at about 7:30am and every time I saw the church from the bus I would become depressed. That was about fifty years ago and today was the first time that I have visited the church since I left my job, the one that I really disliked.

My memory must be faulty as I remember being able to see the Marian Statue from the bus but when I visited today I cannot understand how I could have seen it from the street. Maybe it is visible from the upper deck of a bus or maybe the view has been blocked since the 1970s.

Behind the Oblate's Church is a full size replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, which was opened in 1930. The grotto is 50 feet high, 130 feet wide and 40 feet deep, and is built of reinforced concrete. The grotto does need some attention as its condition is not good. According to many reports the local bishop disapproved of the grotto and insisted that it must not be referred to as the "Irish Lourdes" - he also disapproved of “torch-lit processions, praying with outstretched hands and all-night novenas, especially those with women in attendance.

For many the main attraction is the rosary garden or rosary walk which was established later than the Marian Grotto but I do not know exactly when.

Oblates exercise very diverse ministries but above all seek to dedicate themselves to the poor and abandoned. One can thus find Oblates in Britain and Ireland working in parishes, in missionary formation, preaching, social justice and pastoral ministries, or prisons.
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