Clonmel Mayor says that Mass at the Holy Year Cross is "a fabulous tradition"

Eamonn Wynne


Eamonn Wynne


Mass at the Holy Year Cross

Lorraine Dunne, Erin Ryan and Shelly Dunne making their way to the Holy Year Cross near Clonmel for Mass

A large congregation was present at the annual Mass at the Holy Year Cross overlooking Clonmel on Bank Holiday Monday.

People of all ages climbed the foothills of the Comeraghs to Cnoc a Chomortais, or Scrouthea Hill, for the Mass, which was attended by one of its largest congregations in many years.

Rain fell in Clonmel later in the day, and by teatime the hilltop was shrouded in mist. But despite the early morning sunshine being replaced by a covering of cloud, the Mass was celebrated in breezy but dry conditions.

Above - Taking a well-earned rest having climbed to the Holy Year Cross for the August Bank Holiday Mass

The Cross was erected 68 years ago and since then a Mass has been celebrated on the hilltop each August Bank Holiday Monday.

District Mayor Richie Molloy, who performed one of the readings, described this as "a fabulous tradition".

He thanked the dedicated committee based at the Old Bridge who look after the cross and the surrounding area.

Above - Adam and Harry McSharry on the way to the Holy Year Cross Mass

Canon Brendan Crowley, Parish Priest of Ss Peter and Paul's parish, concelebrated the Mass with Fr. Billy Hoyne.

Canon Crowley told Massgoers that everyone had their crosses to bear, but they were not alone and God was with them.

He remembered in his prayers Fr. Ailbe O'Bric, the Parish Priest of Clerihan, who died two days previously; deceased members of the Holy Year Cross committee; and several other people who attended the Mass regularly and who died in the past year, including John "Slogger" Hickey, Mick Egan, Paddy Wynne and David Clancy.

Canon Crowley also prayed for the late Cllr. Cyril O'Flaherty, whom he had met when he first celebrated the Mass ten years ago and who died shortly afterwards.

Above - Patrick and Gerry Lawless on the final approach to the Holy Year Cross for Mass

Committee member Tony Cronin thanked all who attended and spoke of the recent improvements to the cross and the surrounding area, which ensured that it is shining brighter than ever.

The Clonmel branch of the Irish Red Cross was also thanked for its attendance, as was Ken Horne for providing the sound system.