The relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux are flown by helicopter to the pilgrimage island of Lough Derg.

One thousand barefoot pilgrims welcome the arrival of relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux at Saint Patrick's Purgatory, Lough Derg, in County Donegal.

The relics which are on a travelling tour of Ireland were flown by helicopter from Waterford. On arrival the casket with the relics of Saint Thérèse was carried by six pilgrims into Saint Patrick’s Basilica, where they remained for six hours. The basilica was constructed in 1925 the same year that the French saint (also known as 'The Little Flower’) was canonised.

The ethos of Ireland’s oldest and continuous place of pilgrimage has much in common with the spirituality of Saint Thérèse, believes Monsignor Richard Mohan, Prior of Lough Derg, who invited the relics to Station Island,

People come here...and spend not just a day in prayer...but in fact three whole days...

Once Helen Sheridan and Julie Culligan who live in London heard that the relics would be here, decided to come to do the pilgrimage,

We’re planning this for about six or seven weeks to come here.

Milo Murray from Banbridge who was one of the casket bearers describes his experience as,

A privilege.

Peggy Canavan from Derry has had a special devotion to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux for many years and sees similarities between The Little Flower and the Lough Derg pilgrimage,

The simplicity of her life, and the simplicity of here, everybody is just the’s a lovely uniting of people.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 June 2001. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.