A relic of the recently canonized Saint Oliver Plunkett is brought to St. Brigid's Church in Oldcastle.
Oliver Plunkett was born in Loughcrew County Meath into a well off and influential family on 1 November 1625.
Oliver Plunkett studied for the priesthood at the Irish College in Rome and was ordained in 1654. As Catholics in Ireland were being persecuted by Cromwellian forces at that time he remained in Rome until 1669 when he was consecrated Catholic Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh.
Returning to Ireland, he established a college in Drogheda to train priests and also a school for boys. He actively worked to reform the Irish clergy, confirmed Catholics, celebrated masses, ordained priests and developed friendly relationships with protestant leaders such as Archbishop James Margetson of Armagh.
His refusal to receive Church of England Communion as required by the Test Act in 1673 saw chapels which had been opened by him closed, his colleges demolished, forcing him into hiding and a life on the run.
Arrested in 1678 on a charge of high treason, he was tried in Dundalk and transported to Newgate Prison in London when that trial collapsed. A second trial in Westminster found him guilty and he was executed for treason in Tyburn, England in 1681.
Oliver Plunkett was canonised on 12 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI. This relic (the left femur bone) was presented to the Irish hierarchy by the Abbot and Benedictine Community of Downside Abbey in Somerset last June.
The procession bearing the relic enters the grounds of St Brigid's Church, Oldcastle and makes its way into the church, escorted by local members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.
In a ceremony inside the church Cardinal William Conway transfers St Oliver Plunkett’s relic into the possession of the Bishop of Meath, the Most Reverend Dr McCormack. It will be enshrined in a specially built reliquary under a side altar where it can be seen and venerated.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 November 1975. The footage shown here is mute..