When England's King Henry, the eighth of that name, decided to start up his own religion, he tried to force all of his subjects to switch over.
The Protestants, being the ones in charge, stole Church property right and left, converting some of the finer cathedrals into Anglican centers of worship.
Along came 1916 and the election of Sinn Fein in 1919 and before long, the Irish engaged in ethnic cleansing. Protestants who feared retribution for centuries of oppression up and left. In small towns, the Proties were "encouraged" to follow suit.
However, the Church of Ireland did not see fit to return the stolen churches to the Catholics. Instead, the ancient monuments were allowed to fall into disuse and disrepair, the Protestants too few in number to maintain such expensive structures.
The Church of Ireland is selling St. Mary's Church and attached graveyard to the Irish government for 1.1 million euros. Not a bad profit on land that was acquired via seizure at little or no cost. It will take many, many more euros to repair the damage that's been done by time and vandals.
The 13th Century church is a treasure of medieval architecture and will be a welcome addition to Kilkenny's tourist attractions, while the cemetery is said to contain some of the best examples of Irish Renaissance design. With public money funding the restoration, St. Mary's will become a national monument.
For all of Cromwell's notorious cruelty, the Catholics persisted. Now, one more Protestant church is abandoned due to lack of use, lack of parishioners and lack of support.
Just took a bit of persistence and an eye on the end game that was waiting on the distant horizon. Not unlike a notion held by some who would like to see their words put into print and their story shared with the reading public.