Prior to the Cathedral’s construction, an older parish church of St. Anne (built in 1776) occupied this site. The foundation stone for the current Cathedral was laid on September 6, 1899 by the Countess of Shaftesbury, Constance Ashley-Cooper and the new Cathedral was constructed around the older parish church. When the Cathedral was completed, the older parish church was demolished. In 1941, the building was nearly destroyed when a German bomb exploded nearby. Extensive repairs were needed to bring it back to its original appearance.
Today’s structure is the result of many stages of construction over the years, with “The Troubles” of the mid-to-late 1900’s causing long delays. Its 131 foot tall stainless steel spire - known as the “Spire of Hope” - was added in April of 2007. The Cathedral’s organ is the second largest pipe-organ in Northern Ireland (after St. Peter’s parish church also in Belfast). Sisters Margaret and Gertrude Martin created the mosaics in the Cathedral’s Interior.