The following text is taken from CAHCS Journal Vol 1 (C. Cronin, P 76/7 2007) (Photo by Colum Cronin)
COPPEEN GROTTO 1954 – 2004
50th Anniversary Commerations
8th December 2004
Our Lady’s grotto in Coppeen was built in 1954. It is located on the roadside just west of the village on a site which was donated by the O’Driscoll family. Colonel PJ Coughlan of Manch was the architect who designed the grotto. Neily Warren was the building contractor, while Mick Cosgrave was the main tradesman, tended by Jack Hurley, with Jack Dwyer & others. White quartz stone was gathered from surrounding farms. This supply was soon exhausted, but fortuitously a large quartz stone was blasted on Michael O’Driscolls land in Liscroneen, & the resulting stones were collected and drawn by Barrett’s lorry, finishing the construction of the grotto.
The statue was made by an Italian, whose shop called “Bernardos” was located in Paul St., Cork. Ned Barrett transported the statue from Cork, resting it carefully on top of a load of ration bags. When he arrived in Coppeen, there were many helping hands to get it off the lorry. The cost of the statue was £30.
The 8th December 1954 was cold, with an easterly wind blowing bits of snow. It was market day in Ballineen. A cortège assembled in the schoolyard, & proceeded in a procession to the grotto, where a large crowd awaited. Fr Pat Cahalane performed the dedication ceremony.
Two lilies from Madge O’Callaghan’s were planted in front of the grotto. In more recent years, two miniature trees were planted at the back by Michael Buckley Mountmusic.
On the 8th December 2004, a group led by Fr. Ml. Nolan P.P. gathered at the grotto to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the building of the grotto.
The Grotto Building Committee included:
Sheila Crowley (Pattie)
Jackie & Tommy Collins
EVERYBODY WELCOME TO JOIN IN PRAYER AT GROTTO, 7:30PM AUGUST 17th.