Nenagh church bells remain silent after massive lightening strike

The Mission Cross that was damaged in the grounds at St Mary's of the Rosary Church Nenagh during last Wednesday's storm

The Mission Cross that was damaged in the grounds at St Mary's of the Rosary Church Nenagh during last Wednesday's storm

Nenagh town escaped the brunt of last week’s ferocious storms, with the town emerging relatively unscated from the wind and rain. St Mary’s of the Rosary Church appeared to have suffered most damage, with the high winds knocking the Mission Cross in the church grounds.

The church’s bell remains silent this week after it was hit by a ferocious lightening strike on January 26, leaving its electrical mechanisms damaged beyond repair.

Fr Ger Jones told the Tipperary Star that despite the church having four lightening conductors, all power was lost in the January 26 strike, leaving the church with no heating, no power, no livestreaming of its Masses and no bell. The strike had also blown sockets out of the wall in the sacristy.

However, it is the Mission Cross that has caused most distress to parishioners and the clergy. The cross was orginally erected in Chapel Lane in 1856, the same year the church was built, and later transferred to Church Road.

The cross was snapped in two by the powerful storm on Wednesday, February 12.

“The cross is probably not reparable with its original material,” said Fr Jones. “We may have the top part replaced and leave the original material at the foot of it.”

He said it was a shame that a piece of history was gone with the damage.

Meanwhile, town clerk Sarah O’Callaghan reported the town had got away “relatively lightly”, with some spot flooding and roof damage to a couple of council houses. A garden wall collapsed in another. She also said that Pound Road was closed off for two days because of falling slates. However, most of the damage had been done outside the town area.

Two houses at Rathmartin were hit by flood water coming in off the road, Cllr Hughie McGrath told this Monday’s North Tipperary County Council meeting. He said the council needed to tell landowners they could not let water out on the road to flood areas. He was supported by Cllr Seamus Morris.

“You were taking your life into your hands at Latteragh last Wednesday,” Cllr John Kennedy declared. “I would hate to have been caught there. It must have been horrendous to be thinking of going through that channel.” He said the council needed to look at the number of roadside trees along Thurles road.

Cllr Virginia O’Dowd urged people building in rural areas to check with locals to see if the site was prone to flooding. She described surface water on the M7 at Annaholty as “unnatural”, and was told by Marcus O’Connor that the council was talking to the NRA on the issue.


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