The Parish of St Oliver Plunkett was established on August 1st 1976, five years after the church was built. The boundaries of the new parish were Shaws’ Road, Glen Road, Suffolk Road and Stewartstown Road. Fr Frank McCorry was the first parish priest, the curates being Fr Sam Kerr and Fr Matt Wallace, both of whom had been ministering in the area for some time as curates of Hannahstown Parish.
The parish was established at a time of severe deprivation including very high unemployment levels, overcrowding, people living in temporary housing and the ongoing “Troubles.”
Nevertheless, Catholic families continued to move to the area, many having had to flee their homes in other areas, often leaving most of their possessions behind. The early history of the Parish is a story of the resilience and wonderful community spirit of its people who had to face the fact that riots, hijackings, shootings, house searches and arrests were happening in their streets on a daily basis. Many families would be left to mourn loved ones who were cruelly taken from them over the years ahead.
As the Parish moves towards its fortieth anniversary, times have changed. There is now only one priest to serve the whole Parish and the number of elderly and sick people has increased. There is still a great sprit within the Parish. There are many active Parish groups such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Children’s Liturgy. The Parish also works very closely with community groups such as the Lenadoon Community Forum.