The importance of remembering the sacrifice made by Michael Clerkin was emphasised by Portarlington Parish Priest Fr Tom Dooley in his homily at the anniversary Mass in St Michael’s Church.
Fr Dooley welcomed the dignitaries and large congregation to the 40th Memorial Mass for Garda Michael Clerkin.
“One of the greatests gifts that we have as human beings is the gift of memory. Memory is one of the most precious faculties that we all have.
“When someone we love dies we feel it necessary to connect our lives with the deceased and this is where memory is important. Memory fills us with the presence of our departed loved ones. In memory we are in touch with the spirit. It is that spirit we gather to remember Michael Clerkin 40 years after his death,” he said.
Readings were by Michael's brother and sister.
In the prayers of the faithful, Jim Cannon prayed for Michael, his late parents, Michael and Mary and his brother and sisters. He also prayed for the people of Garryhinch and their “trojan work” on the night.
Sgt Brian Jennings prayed for the surviving gardaí and their families.
Supt Joe Prendergast led prayers for peace in Ireland and that all members of the gardaí who died on duty, as well as all serving members of the gardaí, that they be kept safe on duty.
The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Michael Noonan, Fr Eddie Lalor and Archdeacon Wesley Stephenson.