Every Good Friday since 2001, the church has held a special service to commemorate all those who have died in the Northern Ireland conflict since 1968. The service is held on Good Friday to mark the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which was instrumental in largely bringing the Northern Ireland ‘troubles’ to an end.
This act of commemoration is the only religious service of its kind in Ireland. The service in 2022 will be the twentieth year of the ‘reading of the names’ service for all those who died in and because of the Northern Ireland conflict, starting with John Patrick Scullion, a Catholic storeman shot by the UVF in West Belfast in May 1966, and ending with Lyra McKee, a 29-year-old journalist shot dead by the so-called New IRA in Derry in April 2019.
These readings illustrate powerfully the terrible, random nature of death in war and civil conflict. All human life and death is in these mournful lists: British soldiers, IRA volunteers, loyalist paramilitaries, Ulster policemen and women, part-time UDR men, prison officers, gardaí, civil rights marchers, judges, businessmen, farmers, taxi drivers, social workers, housewives, children of all ages, people killed walking home from the pub, while watching football on the television, while attending church; people killed on buses and trains; and walking and shopping and visiting in London and Birmingham, Dublin and Monaghan, Belfast and Derry and Banbridge and Omagh and a score of other Northern Irish towns and villages.
The service was suspended in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions but will resume on April 15 2022. Join us in person or online anytime from 12-3pm.