Huge European audience for televised ceremonies Millions watch Easter ceremonies fromCarlow

Published 25/04/2003 | 00:11

Millions of TV viewers across Ireland and Europe tuned in to watch Carlow Cathedral's Holy Week Ceremonies.

RTE broadcast the Cathedral's Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Saturday Easter Vigil ceremonies to the nation, while the Cathedral Mass on Easter Sunday was also broadcast on Eurovision to nine networks around Europe and one in Canada.

RTE's Head of Religious Programming, Dermod McCarthy estimated that millions of people, including two million in France alone, had watched the ceremonies.

Mr. McCarthy said phonecalls and e-mails of congratulation had been flooding in from countries such as Belgium, Holland and Canada praising the broadcast.

'We have had e-mails from all over Europe and from all over Ireland from people who have been moved and inspired by the ceremonies,' he said.

Mr. McCarthy said Carlow was chosen for the event because it was one of the few places in Ireland which had 'sufficient resources and talent' to present the Holy Week ceremonies.

'And Carlow certainly lived up to all of those expectations,' he added.

The singers and musicians had worked 'extremely hard' throughout the five hours of ceremonies that were broadcast and the rehearsals which were often three times the lengths of the performances.

Cathedral Administrator Fr. Ger Ahern said around 200 Carlow people had been involved with the ceremonies.

The Carlow Cathedral Choir, Cathedral Folk Group, Carlow Young Artists Choir, Cor Miosa Chamber Choir, and a 17-piece orchestra all performed, while the Scoile Muire Gan Smal Choir both sung and danced.

Credit should also go to choreographers Marie Cashin and Nuala Kelly, musical director Marian Gaynor and Fr. Liam Lawton, who was the composer for much of the music for the services.

'It has been very uplifting for the parish. It brought a lot of people together and we began to realise the wealth of talent that is there,' Fr. Ahern said.

He added that there had been a lot of pressure but it had been worthwhile to bring the ceremonies into people's homes.

'I would like to compliment everybody on their hardwork and commitment. It has been a proud occasion and a privilege for Carlow.'

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