Donegal locals appeal for return of stolen historic and religious relics

First World War memorial dedicated to Captain James Douglas Gaussen MacNeese .

Donegal County Museum is appealing to the public to help find two missing items - the Glennagivney stone cross slab from Moville Parish Church and a bronze First World War memorial dedicated to Captain James Douglas Gaussen MacNeese .

The Glennagivney stone cross slab has been missing since around 2008, when renovations on the Moville Parish Church began. The stone cross slab is decorated with a wheeled (round) Latin cross carved in relief and measures 61cm long, 15cm x 8cm width.

The historical relic was found in a ringfort in the Townland of Glennagivney and was removed for safekeeping into the possession of Mr. T. O’Kane until he died in 1973. Then, it was moved to the Parochial House in Moville, and then later to the Parish Church where it was on public display until it disappeared around 2008.

In a press release, the Donegal County Museum says, “Grave-slabs give us a small window into the life of the early Church in County Donegal. While grave-slabs like this were used up into the later-medieval period, this type represent some of the earliest Christian artwork to be put onto stone in Ireland. Latin cross slabs are usually 10th Century in date.”

A separate item missing in Donegal is the bronze First World War memorial dedicated to Captain James Douglas Gaussen MacNeese. The memorial, which was only recently stolen, was at Redcastle Church of Ireland Church. 

Redcastle Church of Ireland Church is no longer in use and is actually for sale.

Captain James Douglas Gaussen MacNeese was killed at the Battle of the Somme on August 16th, 1916 when he was only 25 years old. He was awarded the Military Medal.

Any information regarding the whereabouts of either item is greatly appreciated by the Donegal County Museum located at High Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Contact them at  (T) 074 9124613 or via email at museum@donegalcoco.ie.

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