Celebrating 800 Years in 2016

Ballintubber Abbey celebrated its 800 years of continuous Mass and religious services at the abbey since 1216,  but also encapsulated a much broader spiritual and cultural story of evolving Irishness, set on the backdrop of a close community, both secular and religious, and its many pluralistic influences.

The Celebration encompassed all areas of community life.  We started the 2 weeks with a beautiful Gathering Mass which was celebrated by the late Fr Paddy Gilligan, who was a native of the parish and was ordained in Ballintubber Abbey. He was joined on the day by Fr Val Hynes, another Ballintubber native, and Fr Frank Fahey.  That afternoon there was a wonderful Schools Day, with races for all the family and some very competitive rounds of tug of war both male and female. All those who participated received a Commemorative Medal for the occasion.

We had a very insightful talk by Anne Chambers on the Lord of Mayo, Tioboid Na Long, son of Grace O’Malley.  After the talk everyone had the opportunity to see the De Burgo Chalice and visit the tomb of Tioboid in the Sacristy. 

Next up was what we hope will become an annual event, a cycle following the route of Friar Burke and Sean a Saggart from Ballintubber, Derreendafderg, Srah until they reach the spot where the priest hunter met his death in Partry.  A group of over 30 took part in the event and many new friendships were made as they stopped along the way to find out bits of history, take in the wonderful scenery and a spot of lunch.

We also had a couple of bus tours covering Ballintubber, Killawalla, Burriscarra and Doon Pennisula and we had 2 full buses for these events.  The tours were guided by Fr Frank Fahey, Sean Bourke, Paul Maguire and Chris Huxley. 

A wonderful night was had by all during the emotive concert by Liam Lawton in the beautiful setting of the Abbey.  Another great night was held in the cottage with Irish dancing, storytelling and music and all ages took part in the fun.

Week two saw the summer re-enactment of the Passion Play which has been enacted for 28 years during Holy Week. We also had a very special evening with an open air mass on Church Island with a little bit of history and a cuppa.  A lovely community event with over 100 people participating in the service.

There was a GAA Day with a blitz which involved school children from the parish. It was a very competitive day and each participant received a commemorative medal for the event.

The closing mass of this fortnight was celebrated by Most Rev. Dr Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam and the music composed by Liam Lawton was sung by the Ballintubber Abbey Choir and this mass was also broadcast on Midwest Radio.

Significantly, planning permission was also granted for the restoration of the entire east wing of the Abbey during the celebrations, which we hope will help see the Abbey celebrating many more significant dates and events.






Parish Sports Day

Church Island Day concluding with a Community Mass….

2016 Celebrations Closing Mass with our very own Jo Thornton being award with the Papal Bene Merenti Award


Ballintubber Abbey Restoration Plans 2016 AD.

The Design Concept

The proposed facilities below will compliment those that has been already in place especially since 1994.

The design concept will accommodate the following:

  • Stairs
  • Lift 
  • Roofed Cloister Passage
  • Reception area and office
  • Toilet and indoor facilities
  • Changing room for pilgrims
  • Museum and Exhibition centre
  • Audio visual room
  • Kitchenette