Cushendun Emmet held an open air mass on the ‘New Rigs’

Report by Denis O’Hara — Pics by Bert Trowlen

THE CELEBRATION of an open air Mass on the New Rigs pitch marked a special milestone in the history of the Cushendun Emmet’s Club.

For the first time since the game of hurling was officially formed in the Parish, in 1904, such a dignified occasion was performed.

The open air Mass was the brainchild of the Emmet’s Club ever loyal supporter, Pearl McQuillan.

It was a proud day for Pearl and Club Chairperson, Helen Magee, who introduced the seated gathering to the order of events.

During Mass service Helen was one of the Readers along with Dr John McSparran.

The precise organising saw a special altar ereted on the pitch outside the Clubrooms, where the celebrant was Fr Noel McHenry of Torr.

He was solemly assisted by another ex-hurler of the Emmet’s – Club Trustee, Monsignor Paddy Delargy, along with Cushendall Parish Priest Fr Kieran Whiteford, Fr Perry Gildea and former Cushendun Parish Priest, Fr Martin O’Hagan.

Despite uncertain weather conditions, including a strong wind, the unique celebration included very welcome offerings by the quickly reformed Parish Choirs, headed by musician Manny Loughran and with glorious vocal contributions through the iconic singing voice of Fr O’Hagan.

This was greatly appreciated by the audience. and the fact the infectiously cheery Fr Martin travelled all the way from Newtownards to be involved.

Also contributing in solo excellence was Jayne McCambridge, while helping Fr McHenry in the smooth running during blustery conditions was altar attendant, Patsy Patterson.

After the service, a group of eager volunteers provided copious amounts of refreshments and eats for everyone involved.

The outstandingly successful event inspired a special level of community spirit that is pure Glens of Antrim.

From outside Cushendun came such hurling luminaries as Niall Wheeler (Glenariffe), Eddie Donnelly (Ballycastle), Donal Kearney (Cushendall), Seamus ‘Crow’ McNaughton (Loughgiel), P J Hill (Carey) and Antrim County Chairman Ciaran McCavana

Emmet’s President, Denis O’Hara concluded the splendid occasion with recitation of the ‘Hurler’s Prayer’.

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