Lack School - 1863 to 1975

A History of the School and its Pupils
by James Hehir


17. Landmarks

(a) The Ballylean Mass Rock

The Ballylean Mass Rock

The Ballylean Mass Rock

During the Penal Times in the 18th century it was common for mass to be celebrated in quiet remote places away from the eye of the law. One such mass rock remains to this day in Ballylean. It is probably the only genuine mass rock in county Clare. Mass is still celebrated on this altar annually since 1990 to commemorate its role in preserving the faith in the area. The chalice used is that presented by Bianconi to Kildysart parish in 1907. He resided at Ballylean House at the time.

Mass was also celebrated in a small valley among the hills to the rear of Sonny Honan's house. This valley was known as Gleann an Aifreann. It is obvious from the location that it provided an excellent lookout position. It serves as a reminder of the state of fear of the local Catholics in those troubled times.