Scattery Island: Turning Back the Centuries on Scattery
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Bishop Walsh arrives to say Mass on Scattery

History was made in Scattery Island off Kilrush last Sunday evening when Bishop Willie Walsh celebrated mass in one of the county's most prominent monastic sites. This was the first time in more than 850 years that Mass was celebrated on this Island. Praising the great monastic and missionary principles of St. Senan and his fellow missionaries, Bishop Walsh, who was the principal celebrant, said that they played an important role in the development of the early church.

The wonderful work of the people who helped to establish Scattery as a great seafaring centre in the eighteenth and nineteenth century was also acknowledged by the bishop.
Although the Island is no longer occupied, it still has a proud monastic and seafaring tradition.

This special historical mass was organised by Kilrush 1500 and Comoradh Senan Naofa in association with the priests of Kilrush parish, West Clare, and other dioceses who were led by Fr. Michael Sheedy, P. P. Amongst the Kilrush clergy were Mons. Vincent Kelly, America, Fr. Fachad Mc Auliffe, South Africa and Fr. Fiacra Cotter, Malawi.

Bishop Walsh arrives to say Mass on Scattery

St. Senans church choir under the direction of organist Mrs. Nora Comerford and other groups participated in the ceremonies to mark the big occasion. The monks from Glenstall Abbey were directed by Brother Brendan, formerly Fr. Joseph Coffey who had served in Kilrush.

Boats left the Creek Marina from 4 pm to bring people to join in prayer for the mass which was scheduled for 6 pm. Throughout the Mass the 250 strong congregation showed great devotion and contemplation by taking part in the ceremony in a spiritual manner. The attendance included the Minister for Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sile De Valera, Kilrush Urban Council Chairman, Tom Prendeville, local historian and Council Vice-Chairman George Harratt, Town Clerk, Mrs. Imy Whelan-Breen and research officer, Mr. Leonard Cleary. After the mass people departed from the island in organised groups. Members of the clergy followed Bishop Walsh to the various monastic sites.

Photos: John Kelly



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Communion on Scattery
Communion on Scattery