A special mass has been celebrated at Knock Basilica to remember all those who have died from Covid-19 on the island of Ireland, with 2,945 candles lit to honour the victims.

Celebrating the mass, Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said the coronavirus has "exploded on our world, and scattered like shrapnel all over the globe".

"We remember and we pray for all those who died without the consoling presence of the family and could not be with them to hold their hand and whisper words of appreciation and reassure them with our prayers as they passed from this world," Archbishop Neary said in his homily.

Archbishop Neary said it had been a "particularly difficult and lonely time" for those who had to lay a family member to rest.

"Grieving in the aftermath of the death of dear one is necessary, important and wholesome," he said.

Throughout the pandemic, he said, we had also witnessed "goodness, gentleness and solidarity" and people making what he called "heroic sacrifices".

Rector of Knock Shrine Fr Richard Gibbons encouraged people to place petitions online in the weeks leading up to the mass.

These were placed at the sanctuary and prayers were offered for them.