The science behind the ashes anomaly
Published 06/03/2014 | 13:11
Scientists believe they have found the cause behind the errant blessed ashes which posed problems for parishioners on Ash Wednesday.Dr Andrew Flanagan studied a sample of the ashes supplied by Galway priest Fr Malachy Hallinan.And he said the misfortune was caused by the dryness of the leaves before they were burned.Fr Hallinan said: “When I met him he asked me if it was it dry and seasoned.""I said it was perfectly dry — the driest I ever had. He said ‘that’s your misfortune’. He said that once you burned it, you took away all the carbon from it — you could say it was almost over-cooked."“Then when I applied the water it became caustic. I didn’t know that. He rang back at 12.30 to confirm it and later delivered the results to my house for fear I might have evening mass."“He told me that if I had dirty wet green palm, there would be less danger — no danger at all."