The Right Rev. William Keane, Bishop of Cloyne, laid the foundation stone of the Catholic Church in Ballyhooly on 29 August 1867. George C. Ashlin and E. W. Pugin designed the church which is in the pointed style of architecture. It is built mainly from limestone with courses of sandstone.
It was dedicated in 1870 and named the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The first parish priest in the new church was the Very Rev. Canon Philip Burton.
Corresponding article from the Irish Builder