17 May 2022

Derrynaflan Easter Sunday Mass transferred to St Mary's Killenaule

The usual Dawn Mass at Derrynaflan Island has been cancelled on health and safety grounds

Tipperary's Treasure Island - Site of world famous Derrynaflan Chalice is now up for sale

The Derrynaflan Chalice- a replica will be in Killenaule Church on Easter Sunday

The Easter Sunday Mass normally celebrated at Derrynaflan Island at dawn, has been transferred this year to St Mary's Church, Killenaule at 11:00am.

Rev Fr Jimmy O'Donnell, PP of Killenaule and Moyglass will celebrate Mass of the risen Lord in the church and the celebration will be enhanced significantly by the presence of an exact replica of the priceless Derrynaflan Chalice which is the property of the owner of the island, Mr Michael Ryan, Thurles, and his company Boomerang Recycling.

The island was purchased by Mr Ryan a short time ago and the unique replica of the Derrynaflan Chalice which he subsequently acquired is on display in Bailey's hotel in Cashel, courtesy of owner Mr Dermot Delaney - the actual Derrynaflan Chalice and the entire hoard are held in the National Musuem of Ireland having been discovered by Mr Michael Webb and his son, also Michael, on February 17,1980.

Easter Sunday’s Dawn Mass at Derrynaflan has always been eagerly anticipated by those have attended down through the years. The magical stillness of the morning in the heart of the bog with the birds singing and the sun rising was regarded as the perfect setting to celebrate the triumph over the Cross. And, the fact that Covid19 denied the opportunity to hold the event over the last number of years, was to have made the 2022 event even more special.

However, upon inspecting the church and the approach to the arrival, it was decided to move the Mass to St Mary's Church on the grounds of health and safety.

“From the moment I bought the island I was anxious that people would visit and that we would return with the Easter Sunday celebrations,” Michael Ryan told the Tipperary Star .

“But, the health and safety of everybody has to come first and we have to move to St Mary's Church instead this year,” he added.

Derrynaflan Island is also thought to be the resting place of the famous Gobán Saor, a famed architect, stonemason and builder of churches in Ireland in the decades around 600 AD.

“It is a very special place and I am thrilled that we will have the replica of the Derrynaflan Chalice in St Mary's Church on the morning too, because most people - especially locals - have never actually seen the real chalice. So, this is the next best thing,” Michael added.

The replica is the exact weight, size and structure of the original chalice which is thought to be an 8th or 9th century vessel described as being “the most complex and sumptuous expression of the ecclesiastical art-style of early-medieval Ireland as we know it in its eighth- and ninth-century maturity.”

The arms of welcome are extended to all to come along to St Mary's Church and as Fr Jimmy O'Donnell says, it will be a very special celebration.

“We would love to be able to do it all at Derrynaflan itself but that is not possible at the moment so we have decided to go ahead with the Mass in St Mary's Church. We will be linking the Derrynaflad element with the Mass in Killenaule and of course we will have the replica Derrynaflan Chalice in the church too which will enhance and add to our celebration on Easter Sunday morning.
“We are extending a céad míle failte to everyone to come along and join us for the celebration, “Fr O'Donnell said this week.

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