Restoration and Church History
Ireland: Overview
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“Ireland: Overview,” Global Histories: Ireland (2020)

“Ireland: Overview,” Global Histories: Ireland

A Brief History of the Church in

Ireland

Ireland Map

Overview

In 1840 Thomas Tate became the first Latter-day Saint convert in Ireland when he was baptized near Belfast by John Taylor of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For much of the early history of the Church in Ireland, preaching was centered around Belfast. It was not until 1850 that Edward Sutherland, a native of Dublin who had been baptized in London, made the first sustained effort to preach in Dublin. Despite public ridicule during his preaching, Sutherland found some success and organized the first branch in Dublin in 1850. By 1856 there were over 200 Church members in Ireland, mostly in the north; however, many Church members from both the south and the north later emigrated. The Dublin Branch was closed in 1863.

Though many Irish emigrants joined the Church overseas, the Dublin Branch was reorganized in 1901 with mostly German immigrant members. At the time of Irish independence in 1922, these families and other converts made up a faithful core of Saints, trusting in the Lord to guide their paths (see Proverbs 3:5–6) as a tiny minority in the country. The organization of the Irish Mission in 1962 led to a period of rapid growth during which the first Church-built meetinghouse was completed in 1971. The Dublin Ireland Stake was organized in 1995, and Church membership in Ireland surpassed 3,000 in 2012.

Quick Facts

  • Official Name: Republic of Ireland/Poblacht na hÉireann

  • Capital: Dublin

  • Largest City: Dublin

  • Official Languages: Irish and English

  • Land Area: 70,273 km2 (27,133 mi2)

  • Church Area: Europe

  • Missions: 1 (part of the Scotland/Ireland Mission)

  • Congregations: 13