WATCH: Portlaoise Priest speaks about Maryborough Centre tragedy at Mass in empty church

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan

The tragedy at the Maryborough Centre in Portlaoise was highlighted on the online Mass broadcasted from Portlaoise Parish church to hundreds of thousands watching online.

Monsignor John Byrne Parish Priest of Portlaoise said the tragedy happened "only a few hundred yards from our Parish Church".

"It has 25 vulnerable patients and as we celebrated Easter here at St Peter & Paul's Church, eight of those patients passed into eternal life," he said.

He prayed for all the remaining patients and all the staff and read out the statement from Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin Denis Nulty who said "it is imperative" that a proper supply of PPE and best possible treatment be given to patients in care homes.

The Church like all others is closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the empty pews, over 300,000 are viewing and listening to Masses and prayers.

St Peter & Paul's is the only one in Ireland broadcast online by on  Masses are also streamed live on the website to parishioners at home, and by radio on 106.5fm.

The only people present in the large church are two priests to celebrate the mass, several religious sisters to assist with prayers and a technician for Shalom World TV.

Singers and musicians from the Portlaoise Sunday Choir are taking it in turns to perform in pairs, with Aisling Rohan and Nuala Kelly performing in this video.

See next Tuesday's Leinster Express for a full interview with Monsignor Byrne on life in his parish during Covid-19.