Churchtown Presbyterian Church – Reverend Mulholland

The Reverend Henry Cunningham Mulholland, B.A., preached in Churchtown Presbyterian Church – in Tamlaght O’Crilly village – for some 44 years, from March 1884 until 1928. Churchtown church is located very close in the village to Drumard School.

Originally a native of Broughshane, Henry Mulholland was educated at Magee College in Londonderry.  He was ordained in Churchtown in Tamlaght and spent his entire career in that one job.  On the 28th April 1885, he married Nannie Torrens, the youngest daughter of the late Reverend Robert Torrens, who had also preached in Churchtown between June 1839 and December 1876.  The marriage was held in Churchtown church and was conducted by the bride’s brother, the Rev. F. Torrens from Macosquin, along with the Rev. A. H. Beattie, and the Rev. Dr. Thompson.

Tamlaght church dog

Tamlaght O’Crilly – Rev. Mulholland’s dog gets daily newspaper from train

The Reverend Mulholland’s Dog

The Reverend Mulholland had a small dog, called Nero, who would collect the daily News Letter, from the early train at the local Tamlaght Halt station (see the newspaper photo).  The railway station was only a few hundred yards from the preacher’s residence.  The line was part of the Derry Central Railway.

By the mid 1920s, the Rev Mulholland was suffering from deteriorating health, and after advice from his doctor, the minister asked to step down in April 1928.  He was granted permission to retire by the Ahoghill Presbytery.

The Reverend W. F. Shepherd (of 3rd Portglenone church), who had been standing in for the Rev Mulholland, announced the retirement to the Churchtown congregation on Sunday 15th April 1928.

The preacher was over 80 years old when he died on Wednesday 27th October 1937 at Churchtown manse.  A service in his memory was held in the church on the 1st November.

A touching reference was made by the superintendent, Mr I. G. Kinney, to the deceased minister, at the close of the Sabbath School.  In the main service, the Reverend V. G. Corkey of Culnady Presbyterian Church delivered the sermon. And the organist, Miss M. Whyte played the Dead March from ‘Saul’.  The Belfast Telegraph said that “the pulpit was suitably draped for the occasion and appropriate hymns were sung.”