Jane, beautiful story about The Mass Rock.
The Mass Rock is located at Loughaun North townland in Tulla parish. This Mass Rock was traditionally used as the place where Mass was held during Penal times. It was in the middle of the forestry and it was well-hidden from British authorities. There was a Mass path from the Knockjames area of Tulla that was used to by the local people to travel to the Mass Rock without being seen. It involved climbing over stone walls, going through the Affick river, and climbing through the hills to the secret location.
The oral history of the Mass Rock was that on a specific date, the priest would travel by horse to a location just outside of Tulla. There the signal would be passed from house to house that a Mass was going to be said. A designated parishioner would lead the priest to the Mass Rock while the congregation would make their way through the paths leading to it.
The tradition was revived in Tulla in the early 1980s when Fr Pat Malone gathered a group of parishioners together who cleared the overgrown area, cut through overgrowth of the Mass Rock path, and on Sunday 5 June 1988, the first Mass was said at the Mass Rock since penal times by Fr Malone with attendance of over 400 people.
The Mass Rock commemoration has been celebrated every year since that time during the summer months. The event is largely attended by the local communities of Tulla, Crusheen, Ballinruan and attracts visitors from all over Ireland and abroad.
For further reading please see:
Reflections from Home and Abroad 2016 “The Loughaun Mass Rock (Carraig an Aifrinn)” by Sean Fitzgerald, N.T.
This Chronicle was created by Jane Halloran Ryan Tulla Volunteer, #ChroniclesChallenge