Brian and Gay live very close to an interesting historic site: Tobernalt Holy Well.
These were oppresive laws that were in effect (at some times more vehemently enforced) during the years 1594-1920 (!). Their primary goal was to destroy the Catholic faith and replace it with the Anglican Church or Church of England. This of course was hugely unsuccessful and led to covert masses served at midnight in a secret place with a stone for an altar. Breaking the law was often meant with secure perseution including death.
As well “Catholics were barred from membership in the Irish Parliament, and the major landholders had most of their lands confiscated under the Adventurers Act.” wikipedia
The following prayer greets the visitor at the entrance to Tobernalt Holy Well:
Pilgrim walk softly, this is holy ground.
It has been made holy by the feet of generations
Who came here to worship God
To hear mass
To honour Our Lady
To pray for their needs and for peace.
Here are memories of a poor, persecuted people.
They braved death to come.
They walked barefoot through the woods
To worship in secret.
Here are memories of hunted priests
Offering mass in this hallowed place,
At the risk of their lives.
Will their sufferings and sacrifices be in vain?
They have handed us a torch.
Let us keep that torch alight.