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Bishop makes first official visit to Tory island


TORY’S 150-strong community came out in force last week to welcome new Bishop of Raphoe, Alan McGuckian, to the island.
Since his ordaination as Bishop in early August, Bishop McGuckian has been busy visiting parishes across the Raphoe Diocese saying masses and meeting parishioners.
He was joined on the island by Gortahork parish priest Fr Sean O’Gallchoir who has been ferried over to the isle every Thursday to say Mass ever since Fr Kieran Creagh was reassigned in September 2016.
Bishop McGuckian and Fr O’Gallchoir were flown over as part of the expanded helicopter service for Tory.
Ms Marjorie Uí Chearbhaill, manager of Comharchumann Thoraí Teo, said that there was a big turn-out for the new Bishop’s first Mass on the island.
“We had mass at 11am followed by tea and sandwiches afterwards. The weather was very good and we had a good turn-out,” Ms Uí Chearbhaill said.
“The new weekly helicopter service started last Thursday and we were delighted to welcome two such eminent guests on the first flight. They were joined by a local dentist was had been tasked to extract a tooth from an elderly resident,” she added.
Helicopter service
The weekly helicopter service, which will operate on alternate Thursday and Fridays, will run between now and Good Friday next. The regular ferry service between the island and the mainland will continue to run in parallel.
“The helicopter service, funded by Roinn na Gaeltachta, is a great addition to the island and its people,” she said.
The helicopter costs €28 return for what is a five-minute jouney to the island which lies nine mile off the north-west coast while the ferry costs about €26 for a journey, which at this time of year, can take upwards of an hour.
“The new weekly service is welcome news to the islanders who have been seeking these increased helicopter service for some time. It leaves Falcarragh at 9am while the last flight leves the island at 3pm,” Ms Uí Chearbhaill said.
Another special guest – Santa – will be flown over to the island in a helicopter next month in what is always a magical occasion for the children because he arrives with gifts!

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