Annual Pentecost (Whitsunday) Open-Air Service at Inniskeen


On the afternoon of Sunday 27th May 2012 at 3.00pm, the Day of Pentecost, the annual open-air service which has customarily been led by both Bishops of Clogher will take place this year at the historic site of Inniskeen in County Monaghan, close to the border with Counties Louth and Armagh. This will be the first time that the service takes place at Inniskeen, a site of historical importance for the early Christian Church in this region. This will also be a significant year as it will be first time in which the new Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell, takes part in the service. He will join with the Most Revd Liam MacDaid, Roman Catholic Bishop of Clogher, to lead this special open-air service.

Inniskeen dates from the late Neolithic to the early Christian period. A monastery was founded on the site in the 6th century by St Daigh MacCarell, it was later burned in 789, subsequently plundered by the Vikings in 948, and burned a second time in 1166. However, the lower third of the original round tower remains. The arrival of the Normans saw the construction of a Motte-and-bailey in the 13th century, and the motte is still standing to this day. The arrival of the Augustinian order of monks saw the construction of a new monastery, and one section of the monastery wall remains. The Church of Ireland Parish Church of Inniskeen was rebuilt on the ancient site in 1854, and was eventually closed in 1970.

During the service two young people from the local area will each give a reflection of the subject of Pentecost. Bishop MacDaid will deliver a talk based on the readings, from the book of Ezekiel and the Gospel of John.

After the service there will be a talk delivered by Sr Una Agnew on the spirituality of Patrick Kavanagh, one of the foremost Irish poets of the 20th century. Inniskeen was the birthplace and childhood home of Kavanagh, and he is buried along with his wife in Inniskeen graveyard.

A warm invitation is extended to all to join in this occasion, and refreshments will be made available afterwards.