Ballyine Mass Rock
In 1954 (Marian Year) the local people came together and erected on the
hillside in Ballyine a beautiful Shrine to Our Lady. The Shrine stands
on the spot where mass was celebrated during penal times. It was a remarkable
community effort spread over many months and culminating in the lifting
onto its pedestal of the life-sized statue of the Blessed Virgin. Up to
two thousand people are reported to have climbed the steep hillside on
August 15 for the celebration of mass at the newly constructed Shrine.
The shrine and mass rock at Ballyine are now a place of pilgrimage. Each
year mass is celebrated at the rock in recognition of, and thanksgiving
for the heroism of our forefathers.
© A Photograph of the first mass held at Ballyine Mass Rock in 1954.
( Photograph provided by Mrs. Joan Molyneaux)
The Limerick Leader Newspaper August 21 1954 had the following report
on the blessing of the Shrine:
"Our forefathers held steadfastly to the Faith with courage and
determination and handed it down to us bright and unsullied", declared
the Rev Fr. Ruddle, PP Ardagh on Sunday last when he addressed a huge
gathering of parishioners and visitors on the hillside of Ballyine in
the West Limerick parish of Ardagh/ Carrickerry."
On 25th July '99 the annual mass at the mass rock was said as a mass
of preparation for the upcoming millennium celebrations. The mass was
well attended on this lovely July day. A tree, representative of the youth
in the parish, was planted by four local youths at the end of the mass.
A rock, representative of the church was laid beside the tree.
© Some pictures from the mass at Ballyine July 25th 1999