The trauma of vandalism done to a sacred space, which in the hearts of plain people is more than mere bricks and mortar, is a hard thing to bear. The parishioners, neighbours and friends of Holy Trinity Errislannan, so badly damaged in recent weeks, are still coming to terms with the hurt of finding their church broken and battered. So it was a marvellous encouragement to them, and to their Priest in Charge, The Very Reverend Stan Evans, to receive a visit on Friday 10th November from Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina.
The President walked through the church with Rev. Stan, accompanied by Cathaoirleach Galway County Council, Eileen Manion. Together they examined the interior of Holy Trinity in its present state which, far from being restored, is now at least in a less chaotic condition than it was a fortnight ago.
The President met with a group of people who will undertake the repairs and refurbishment. He spoke with Joan Johnson of the Friends of St. Flannan’s, a benevolent association which has contributed to the life of Holy Trinity for the past 51 years. Ms Johnson is a member of the Society of Friends ( Quakers ), a body of Christians who have had a long connection with Errislannan.
President Higgins was clearly moved by what he saw. He expressed his compassion for the local community and offered words of great encouragement and support as they begin their work towards the day when Holy Trinity will once again be open for worship.
As The President and his wife left the Errislannan Peninsula, Revd. Stan Evans commented:
‘The outpouring of support for the Church community in Errislannan following the vandalism at Holy Trinity church has been quite incredible.
From small donations from pensioners, to whole congregations of all denominations raising funds across the country, our hearts have been lifted by this outpouring of generosity and solidarity. We thank everyone for their support.
The church will be totally restored ready for the summer services and without doubt there will be large numbers of people who will wish to view the restoration.’