In the latter part of the 18th Century, there was only a very small Catholic congregation in Portrush. Around 1800, when there were only about 30 homes in Portrush, the priest stopped performing mass, exclaiming, “There is only one Catholic in Portrush, and she is married to a Protestant!”
As Portrush grew, so did the Roman Catholic population, and the church was built between 1845 and 1851 as an independent branch of the Coleraine Church. Constructed in local basalt, using stone quarried in Kerr Street Portrush and on a site granted by the Earl of Antrim, this church now served the local area of Portrush as well as St. Mary’s in Bushmills. The Church is in the Gothic style with the local basalt stone being relieved by sandstone trim. Originally consisting of a nave and chancel, transepts were added in 1936/7 to increase the seating capacity, helping to accommodate the summer tourists.
The Parish School building was built in 1855 and a parochial house in 1859, followed by a teacher’s residence, all in the same stone and style as the Church.