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Easter Dawn Mass

A special Dawn Mass held on a bright but frosty Easter Sunday Morning at the Thirteenth Century Kildermott Abbey on the Shore of Ballymore Lake in Attymass in Mayo, created a unique piece of history on Sunday 4 April 2010. 

The Abbey is tucked away in a field owned by John and Betty Gallagher Family who kindly gave their permission for the special mass to take place, they are pictured here with Fr Tom Mulligan (Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Attymass) the concelebrant of the mass and Fr Steve Gibson (Fr Peyton Centre, Attymass). .  Despite the very cold weather and the mass starting off in almost pitch darkness a huge crowd gathered with their torches from Attymass Parish to celebrate the occasion.  It is believed to be the very first time that an Easter Sunday dawn mass had been said in the Abbey.

When asked about how he felt the mass went Fr Tom Mulligan replied “This was the very first time that an Easter Sunday dawn mass had been held at the Abbey, but it certainly will not be the last.  It was a perfect morning, the whole atmosphere was fantastic with the birds singing and being so close to the lake shore.”

Anthony Hennigan who owns a holiday home in the parish and comes from Manchester said “The choir and musicians were fantastic, the sound was almost heavenly, it was a lovely start to Easter Sunday morning and a very moving experience.   The way that the dawn broke through the altar window at the end of the service was timed to perfection.  I did not even know that the abbey even existed and I will certainly be making a return visit.”

The Abbey which was originally named The Holly Trinity Priory, was established in 1238 by Norbertine Monks who it is believed were already established in the parish at this time.

Historians believe that the Abbey was partially destroyed after the Cromwellian Act of 1697 persecuting the Catholic Faith.  Two Holy Water Fonts from the Abbey were recovered from the lake, one has been returned to the Abbey (pictured above) whilst the other resides in the National Museum.  The Abbey was named as a national monument in 1939.

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