The haunting notes and words of “Fiddlers Green”, beautifully sung and played by Redmond and Jason Ansbro, rang through St Mary’s Parish Church, Youghal, at the start of annual Youghal Fisherman’s Mass which was celebrated on Saturday morning last, February 1st.
The huge congregation included large numbers of families, friends, neighbours and locals who filled the Church and who sang along with great heart and for some, with great sadness, as they remembered loved ones, relatives and friends who lost their lives to the sea. A large representative group from the emergency services were also in attendance at the very special event.
The Mass, which was co-celebrated by Fr Bernard Cotter, SMA, Venerable Andrew Orr, and Rev. Patrick Corkery C.C., was an emotive ceremony in which items connected to the sea were brought to the altar, including a Salmon Yawl made of matchsticks, a Model Ships Anchor, a picture of two local young brothers Jesse and Tommy who lost their lives at sea, an Irish Coastguard Paddle, A Fishing Net and an early 1930s picture of the RNLI crew.
An impressive gallery of 54 archive pictures of sea-related images of Youghal was also on display, and drew the eye of everyone entering or leaving the Church.
A huge amount of work and enthusiasm went into the organising of the Fisherman’s Mass and thanks are extended to all involved, but especially to Margaret Carey and her crew who brought it all back together again this year. May it continue for many, many years to come, bringing memories, consolation and love to the people of the seaside town and surrounding areas.