in this district. One of these was in Neiltown and the other in the low-lying area beneath the old church of Rathboyne. In the bull of presecution Father Barnwall officiated in these humble churches but when the persecution of Catholics became more severe Mass would be celebrated on the hills in the woods and at the backs of the ditches Father Barnwall used often offer Mass in a field at Phaenistown. The spot where he offered the Holy Sacrifice is still remembered and pointed out. There is a hollow with three grassy steps leading up to a hillock. This little hillock is surmounted by a hawthorn bush. The place is still reverenced by people.
At break of day and often before it the people would assemble at this hallowed spot to assist at the Holy Sacrifice and the most active of the flock would keep watch to protect the sacred ceremonies from being profaned and the holy priest from the minions of the law who were most anxious to arrest their victim