St. Peter's R.C. Church in West Street is world famous for housing the shrine of St Oliver Plunkett. The first Church on the site was built in 1791 to a design by Francis Johnston and the present church incorporates part of that building and it was opened in1884. The facade is an imposing structure in the Gothic style, built of local limestone.
St. Oliver Plunkett, was born at Loughcrew near Oldcastle, Co Meath and trained for the priesthood abroad , being ordained in 1654 and becoming Archbishop Of Armagh in 1669. He spent a lot of time in Drogheda and is credited with bringing the Jesuits to town and opening a number of schools. Because of the Penal Laws, Catholics were not allowed practice their religion openly but Plunkett managed to defy them for a period but later he had to go into hiding, traveling only in disguise. He was arrested in Dublin in 1679 and found guilty of high treason and on 11th July 1681, and having spent some time in Newgate Prison he was taken to Tyburn ( now Marble Arch) and hanged, drawn and quartered. He was declared a saint by Pope Paul VI in 1973. His preserved head forms the centerpiece of the shrine in St Peters Church. Many schools, churches and other building in Ireland and overseas are dedicated to the Saint .