Irish Stew was on the menu for St Paul’s Church of Ireland, Garvagh, and St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Glenullin’s annual ‘Blessing of the Shamrock’ celebration, which took place this year at Glenullin Community Centre.
The Rector of Errigal and Desertoghill, Rev Paul Whittaker, said the annual service – which alternates between the parishes – had grown hugely in popularity since in started in 2012 and was now a firm fixture in both churches’ annual calendar.
There was a new face at the event this year, as Rev Whittaker was joined by the new Parish Priest of Errigal, Fr Brendan Crowley, who was appointed in September.
The evening began with the piping in of the shamrock by local piper Dessie Davidson. The sprigs were blessed by the two clergymen before being distributed to members of both parishes and visitors.
This year’s guest speaker was Omagh firefighter and lay preacher Paddy Quinn, who recounted his personal faith journey to the scores of people present.
The evening included hymns performed by the St Paul’s music group, traditional music by the group Tigh Tara and Irish dancing. Gerard O'Kane, from the Glenullin Community Association, thanked local businesses for sponsoring the event and those in attendance for supporting it.