The closely knit communities of Holycross and Ballycahill were given the best possible seasonal present on Christmas Eve when it was announced at High Mass that a relic of the True Cross of Christ would be returned to the parish, in place of the one stolen from the historic Abbey back in October.
Rev Fr Tom Breen, PP of Holycross Ballycahill had to break news of the theft to heartbroken parishioners three months ago after armed and masked raiders cut the relics from the iron casing it was displayed it, beside the Altar in the Abbey. It made for a very disturbing period of time for the people of Holycross Ballycahill and for all those who came to worship in the ancient site of pilgrimage. The relic formed the centrepiece of the Abbey and helped make Holycross Abbey one of the most visited tourist sites in the country -the numbers visiting the Abbey actually increased since the theft with the total expected to top the 250,000 mark for the year.
However, Fr Breen was the bearer of good news on Christmas Eve when he announced that the Ursuline sisters in Blackrock had offered to donate a portion of their Relic of the True Cross to the Abbey as a replacement for what was so coldly and cruelly stolen.
See this weeks Tipperary Star for full story.