In 1830, the chapel located at Moybane was in great disrepair. It was then decided by the Parish Priest Rev. Michael Lennon to build a new chapel as close as possible to the town of Crossmaglen. Moybane was about a mile away from town. The town was the focus of the population with about twelve to eighteen houses.

Moybane Handball Alley
The remains of the Moybane Chapel, Clonalig, Armagh
Photo by Terrence Gregory

The land of the town and most of the surrounding area was owned by one landlord, Thomas Ball. Thomas Ball did offer the priest a small hill that was covered with weeds, bushes and briars. The priest accepted the land and immediately got started on the drawings for the new chapel. He easily convinced residents to clear the site for the new building.

In 1833 a contract for building the chapel was awarded to McAdory of Dundalk and it was completed in 1835. The stones were drawn from all parts of the area with a large supply taken from Thomas Donaghy’s hill. The sand came from Peter Grants in Moybane and lime from the Newry side of Dundalk. Known masons to have helped were the Gregory’s (Clarnagh), Hearty’s (Coolderry) and Lamb (Drunbally). All granite stones came from Newry quarries for window sills, lentina door stops, etc.

The Sunday before the new chapel was opened, the last Mass was said in Moybane Chapel and the people cried after the mass as most of them would have to walk an extra mile to attend the new church.

Soon after the opening, the Infants School started in the front gallery of the new church. The school was there until 1848 when it moved to Patrick O’Callaghan’s in the Square till 1888. The school then moved to Castleblaney Road where it remained till 1969.

The remains of the Moybane Chapel consists of three walls which was converted to a handball court in 1926.