The Church was built between 1715 & 1720 by Catherine Keightly and was most likely named after her. Catherine was a grand-daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, Lord High Chancellor of England and she was a first cousin of Queens Mary & Anne. Her husband was Lucius O'Brien, grandson of the famous Maire Rua of Leminagh Castle. Lucius and Catherine did not reside at Leminagh but took up residence at Corofin House. When the parish church at Kilnaboy fell into disrepair and the necessary support was not forthcoming to renovate it, Catherine considered the siting of a new church at Corofin. The latter was rapidly growing and was more central for the parishes of Rath & Kilnaboy, now united and served by the same vicar.

A century later St Catherine's needed alteration and renovation and by 1829 the steeple and vestry had been added, all done with the aid of a loan of £369 from the Board of First Fruits. Tradition has it that the bell of the original building was discovered by treasure seekers while digging inside the Round Tower at Dysart O'Dea. When the steeple was added, that bell was exchanged in Limerick for a solid brass bell. Dr. Charles Columbine who was rector here in the 1760s, is buried under the communion rail.

The most notable personage to be buried in the churchyard was William Blood of Applevale who was murdered in 1831 by the Terry Alts, a notorious secret society. St. Catherine's was used for regular service up to the early 1970s. Local folklore maintained that St. Catherine's had been a barn prior to its conversion to a church by Catherine Keightly. This theory was confirmed when the plaster was removed and the old barn was clearly recognisable.

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