St Patrick’s Day Mass on RTÉ to be broadcast from Strandhill

Strandhill, one of the most stunning seaside villages in Ireland will feature prominently in this year’s St Patrick’s festival celebrations as Mass for St Patrick’s Day will come live from Strandhill on RTE1 at 11am.

The Kairos Communications team who broadcast mass from around the country for RTE, have already done three masses from the Sligo area, which is not surprising as two of the staff are originally from Sligo town.

Strandhill was chosen this year to be the location for the mass due to its close associations to St. Patrick. Killaspugbrone, the ancient site to the edge of Sligo airport, was dedicated to Bishop Bronus by St.Patrick himself and as artist and historian Patrica Curran Mulligan says in the preamble to the mass ’Killaspugbrone is on the map as one of the top three sites associated with St.Patrick’

In spite of the inclement weather, cameraman and Sligo native, Seamus Callagy was out and about in Strandhill last week, filming scenes in the local school, Scoil Asicus Naofa and also at Killaspugbrone.The scenes at Killaspugbrone showcase the rugged beauty of the site and with the informed input of Patricia Curran Mulligan, they put the case for this amazing Christian heritage site to be celebrated and treasured.

2nd Class in Scoil Asicus Naofa also contributed, with the children colouring in pictures of St.Patrick and decorating flags and shamrocks to welcome viewers to the broadcast. Teacher Emma Earley spoke briefly about the essential elements of Patrick’s story that they are teaching to the children – ‘he came from another country, he had a tough life, but what he brought and the depth of his faith fundamentally enriched this country’.

The parish team at Strandhill have been working extremely hard to craft a liturgical celebration befitting St. Patrick’s day and the honour of being beamed live across Ireland  on RTE1 and across the world on the RTE player. The mass itself will feature the local choir, the children choir and inputs from traditional musicians from the locality.

The broadcasting team, led by Kairos Communications have also been hard at work with the unique challenge of the church building leading to the decision to use specialised film industry balloons to light the interior. 

‘Strandhill church is a beautiful setting for the mass and we really want to do justice to it’ said producer Fr.Finbarr Tracey.  ‘Working along the Wild Atlantic Way for St. Patrick’s day is a treat for all the crew, not just the Sligo ones, for whom this is a hometown gig, but for all of us, as Strandhill is such a spectacular backdrop for the day”

The mass will be broadcast LIVE on RTE1 at 11am on Sunday 17th March and will also be available to view on the RTEPlayer.