Mass Site at Skelpy
This shrine built in 1943 marks the site of a primitive church or mass-rock which was used for the celebration of Mass in the 18th Century.
Writing of the site in his “Rambles Round Urney”, written in 1933, Fr Walter Hegarty says:
“Here was built the first Mass-house known in the district. It was but a primitive structure roofed with gorse, and parishioners of a by-gone day used to compare its poverty with the relative comfort of the first chapel of Dun na Lub. There are no remains but older people remember the stone steps of the altar. This was then a comparatively open position, and at certain periods of unrest it was safer to say Mass deep down in the glen farther along the burn.” The shrine was blessed on 25 July 1943, after a procession from the Doneyloop Church, starting at 3.00pm, and led by Fr Peader MacLoinsigh, CC Doneyloop, and Fr Walter Hegarty, CC Buncrana, who had been Curate in Doneyloop from 1927 to 1937. The photo below records the occasion, with Fr Hegarty in the foreground and Fr MacLoinsigh in the background. The Altar Server partly visible is believed to be Richard Kelly.
(Photograph courtesy of Mr Joe Hunter, Clady)
The inscription at the shrine reads in translation:
Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever
There was an open shelter for the celebration of Mass
on this spot in the 18th Century
Webpage Compiled by Rev. Brian McGoldrick PP,