AN unusually hot day and a clash with the Cork City Marathon did not prevent the Catholic community in Cork gathering in numbers for the 93rd annual Eucharistic Procession.
Close to 1,000 people met in and around the North Cathedral to accompany two bishops on their walk to Daunt Square.
Bishop John Buckley of Cork and Ross was joined by Bishop Denis Brennan, Bishop of Ferns, to walk the traditional path across the northside of the city and bring the Eucharist to the top of Patrick Street.
After the procession, Bishop Buckley welcomed the large attendance.
“The fine weather, the bank holiday weekend and the marathon were all reasons why people may not attend, but the turnout was most welcome and a sign that the Eucharistic Procession is part of the cultural and religious heritage of the city.
“This is a big day for Cork City, a public demonstration of faith.”
Both the Cork City and County mayors were in attendance and Cork County mayor, Declan Hurley, said the ceremony had come at the right time after last week’s referendum on abortion.
“This is an annual profession of our faith and I think it is very important that we come out and profess that,” he said.
“I think particularly after the decision of the referendum some people are feeling a bit lost really, but people voted with their conscience and their heart.
“Today is about keeping faith strong and I am delighted to see so many young people in attendance.”
While dozens of local teenagers participated in their school uniforms or as part of the SHARE group, it was noticeable that many of the children in the procession were from Cork’s immigrant communities, with Polish and southern Indian groups both highly visible presences.
The 100-strong Syro-Malabar Church of Cork group, whose members hail from Kerala, a state on India’s tropical Malabar Coast, were prepared for the weather, with the many children and adults in the procession carrying brightly coloured parasols.