ST PATRICK'S Cathedral, Armagh, Northern Ireland, was re-opened this week with a rite of dedication after the completion of major restoration work.
The cathedral, closed for 17 months, was repaired at a cost of £6m. As a symbolic gesture, on the eve of dedication the restored 39 carillon bells were played.
As part of the rite of dedication, relics were deposited in the new altar of Pope St Celestine I, who sent St Patrick to Ireland, St Malachy and St Oliver Plunkett. Central to the restora
tion of the cathedral was the re-ordering of the sanctuary. The new altar and ambo are of Tunisian limestone. The new sanctuary floor is of Bologna porcelain from Italy.
Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, Primate of AllIreland, officiated at the ceremony,s attended by Cardinal Cormac Murphy 0' Connor, Cardinal Desmond Connell and Archbishop Kelly of Liverpool. A special message from the Pope was read out by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Lazzarotto.