The Mother Church of Derry Diocese
It was as if the three greats of Irish ecclesiastical architecture were drawn over two centuries to this elevated site high above the River Foyle by some spiritual force. And one English great in the background. Building by James Joseph McCarthy. Spire by Edward Toye. Sanctuary by Liam McCormick. Inspiration by Augustus Welby Pugin. It’s a precipitous mountain of a church built in part of Newry granodiorite and Mourne granite.
A noticeboard outside the main entrance reads: “St Eugene’s Cathedral was solemnly opened on 4 May 1873. The cathedral cost a little over £40,000 to build, of which £4,000 was raised in America and the rest was donated by the people of Derry. William Roddy, Editor of the Derry Journal, said in 1899, “Do not let us forget that this is a cathedral built out of the pennies of the poor, the sixpences of those not quite so poor and the shillings of those we were better-to-do.”