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There was a chapel in the townland of Loonogs in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  It was a thatched chapel and the walls were built with poor quality irregular stone. Like many of the chapels of this period it was used as a school during the week. In 1837 Samuel Lewis, in his Topographical dictionary of Ireland , described this chapel as ‘old and dilapidated.’

The present St Matthew’s Church was built in 1839. It was in the process of being built when the roof was blown off by the ‘Big Wind’ on the night of 6 January 1839.  It is a rectangular building with high Romanesque windows.  This church has served the people of the Crosskeys area ever since then. 

When Fr Michael Young was appointed parish priest of Denn in 1928 he reported that the church was in a very bad state and it ‘presented the appearance of decay and neglect.’  In 1929 the church was re-plastered inside and outside. New windows were inserted the following year. In 1931 a new gallery was added. The stations of the cross, which were made in Italy , were blessed on Sunday 27 September 1931. In 1934 the marble altars were installed.  Further work was carried out on the church in 1980-81.

Further work was carried out on the church in the early 1980s.’  An extension and major restoration work took place in 2008.  The cemetery was extended, with a new entrance and new pathways throughout.  A new car park was also developed opposite the church.

The work carried out on the Church included a new roof, new floor, new windows, and extended sanctuary area, the addition of a sacristy, belfry, toilets and car park.  The beautiful stained glass windows were donated by the Sisters of Mercy, Ballinamore, as their convent was closing.  Three new stained glass windows behind the altar were created by  William Earley, a stained glass artist.  His granduncle, of the same name, had created the other stained glass windows c.1918 for the Mercy Convent in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim.  William Earley’s daughter, Jane, tastefully restored the stations of the cross and the statutes. Joe Sheridan installed all of the stained glass windows.

The marble work was all done by Donald McDonald from Kilkenny.  He dismantled  the original marble reredos and side altars, cleaned them and carefully rebuilt them.  He also built the new ambo, altar, presidential chair and baptismal font and supplied the beautiful centre-piece for the altar depicting the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple.  The sanctuary floor is made from Carlow limestone.

The old bell, which was made in 1843, was restored and erected in the new belfry.  Extensive car parking was developed along the road. 

The church was rededicated by Bishop Leo O'Reilly on 7th December 2008.