The Little Ark < Back

Little Ark is a great Irish tourist attraction

In the 19th century, the landlords of Loop Head refused to give over a site for the building of a church for Roman Catholic worship in Kilbaha.

The local priest at the time, Fr Michael Meehan, came up with the idea of celebrating mass on the foreshore, which is no man’s land. In 1852, he oversaw the building of a Little Ark – a wooden box on wheels, containing an altar – which could be rolled onto the beach at low tide.

For five years, mass was celebrated, couples were married and children were baptised there by the sea in Kilbaha. Eventually, a site for a church was granted, and in 1857, the first stone was turned on Kilbaha’s present church. It was dedicated to Our Lady, Star of the Sea, but nowadays is better known as the Church of the Little Ark.

The Little Ark has been preserved and can be seen today in an annexe to the church.

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