St Eugenes Cathedral

Derry’s Catholic Cathedral

Like most of the Catholic cathedrals in Ireland, St Eugene’s is a nineteenth-century Gothic revival building.

Construction work on the cathedral, at its elevated site overlooking the Bogside district, was begun in 1851 but it did not open until 1873.

The building is the Catholic cathedral of the diocese of Derry. The diocese of Derry is a totally different entity to the county of Derry, including as it does, the Inishowen peninsula and other parts of County Donegal as well as some areas in Co Tyrone. The explanation for this is that all the dioceses in Ireland came into existence long before the counties were delimited.

The dioceses are based on medieval gaelic political units rather than the requirements of English colonial administration, which gave us the shape of our counties. The dioceses of Derry most likely represents the territory claimed by the Ua Lochlainn kings (who lived in Derry itself) in the twelfth century.