Marauding forces from overseas tried to stop it. The supression of Catholicism made it a crime. Even bishops declared at times that was a sin to go there!
But going to Gougane Barra to pray has been a constant for over 1,400 years.
In recent decades it's well known as a special place to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage – and thousands of couples have.
During the Penal Laws, when the celebration Mass was outlawed, lay people developed their own way of praying there and this became known as "doing the rounds". To this day, communities still call there on hearing of an illness or need for prayer in their community.
On Sunday Oct 1st., Bishop Fintan Gavin will preside at Mass there to mark the 1,400th anniversary of the first Christian to have prayed there – St Finbarr.
Sunday 1 October 2023
2:30pm Rosary - Fr Bernard Cotter
3:00pm Mass - Bishop Fintan Gavin
Finbarr established an early monastic community here and later went on to found a centre of learning in the march of Cork -- which later grew into the city.
All are invited to the celebrations at Gougane Barra on Sunday 1st October marking the 1,400th anniversary of the death of St Finbarr.
Mass at 3pm is preceded by the Rosary at 2.30 pm. Fr Bernard Cotter, former Parish Priest of Uibh Laoire and Co-PP in Castlehaven Parish will preach the homily.