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One of Ireland’s biggest parishes has held a moving tribute to those forced to emigrate in the wake of the Celtic Tiger’s collapse.

Parishioners in Killarney gathered at St Mary’s Cathedral in the Kerry town for a special mass in honor of their emigrants last Sunday.

A list containing the names of almost 500 young emigrants was placed alongside the Christmas crib in the church in a gesture by local priests to remember those living and working abroad.


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Fr Kevin McNamara told the Irish Times that the move was in response to an invitation, at a carols service before Christmas, to write the names of loved ones on large boards.

Such was the level of interest in the idea that the priests decided to hold a special Mass on Sunday which was attended by about 800 people.

“The placing of the names – headed, Your Loved Ones will be Remembered – alongside the crib was a positive statement for those who had left. We are telling them they are not forgotten,” Fr McNamara told the paper.