Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, has expressed his shock and sadness at the desecration of St Michael’s Church, Shroid, in Longford parish.

The church was broken into and the tabernacle stolen. The break-in was discovered on Easter Sunday morning. The church had not been in use over the Easter period as all parish ceremonies had taken place in Saint Mel’s Cathedral in Longford town.

Bishop Duffy visited the scene of the break-in on Sunday morning. Speaking afterwards he said, “This act of desecration is disrespectful to religion and to the local community. It is extremely upsetting for the parishioners and the clergy here in Longford that something like this could happen, but especially during Holy Week.”

Bishop Duffy went on to explain the significance of the tabernacle and to make an appeal to anyone with information about the break-in to go to the Gardai. He said, “The tabernacle is the centre piece of the Mass as it holds the sacred Communion hosts. It holds the bread that we believe has been transformed into the body of Christ. That is what we believe and that is why this act of desecration is so distressing.

“The tabernacle is of great significance to the local parish here. We would love to be able to get it back so I appeal this Easter Sunday morning for anyone with any information to contact the Gardai at Longford Garda Station on 043 335 0570.”

ENDS