The ongoing Covid-19 restrictions have led to a surge in online viewers to church services around the country. 

Over 1.2 million people have watched live streams from Knock in Co Mayo since the middle of March. 

Now, plans are in place to facilitate virtual pilgrimages to the Marian Shrine.

The month of May is traditionally one of devotion to Mary and so staff in Knock have devised methods to enable the faithful to take part in the usual pilgrimages, from the comfort of their own homes. 

People from the Catholic diocese of Cloyne will be among the first to participate in the online pilgrimage next Sunday. 

Companies streaming parish services say there's been a tenfold increase in traffic over the last month or so, with over half a million people tuning in for Sunday masses, broadcast from churches in every corner of the country.

One of those providers, Church Services TV, says it is now broadcasting masses from over 150 churches here. 

While most parishes have installed cameras in their churches, some priests who are cocooning have been transmitting daily services from their own homes. 

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