By Kieran O’Mahony
THE search for the missing Gougane Barra ‘altar stone’ is set to continue after a planned dive of the lake at the weekend failed to find the religious artefact.
Four divers from Cork city were engaged by the parish to search for the ‘altar stone’ which was recently removed from the site of the old church on the island of St Finbarr.
‘The divers were in the water for about two and half hours and while they said conditions were ok, it was a bit murky but they were unable to trace it said,’ said local man Finbarr Lucey, speaking to The Southern Star.
‘Everyone here in the parish is very disappointed, as we had assumed that it might have been thrown in there,’ he said. ‘It’s been in the same spot for over 300 years, and we don’t know what happened to it, or have any tip-offs on its whereabouts.’
‘At this stage we’re relying on all the media to highlight its disappearance. The only thing we do know is that we have pictures from there that were taken at the end of April, and it wasn’t there then. What we want to do is jog people’s memories about it, in the hope that they may have seen it somewhere.’
Macroom gardai are investigating the disappearance and anyone with information is asked to contact them on 026 20590 or to contact local parish priest, Fr Martin O’Driscoll, on 086-2621908.