Limerick cathedral provides guiding light over river Shannon

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Limerick cathedral provides guiding light over river Shannon

A light in the darkness: Dean Niall Sloane points up to the west window

A GUIDING light in the darkness of life has been lit in the west wing of St Mary’s Cathedral, overlooking the river.

The Dean of the city cathedral, the very Reverend Niall Sloane has installed a lamp in a small window, which will remain on for 24-hours-a-day, 365-days a year.

With the window looking out onto the riverside, the hope is people will be able to look towards the building, see the light and realise they are not alone.

“The idea is we are reaching out. And that is part of our mission here - reaching out to the city. We are conscious of the fact Limerick has a high suicide rate and the bridges play a role in that. We hope that individuals if they feel down, they may see the light in the tower and know there is always someone else thinking of them. There are other options there,” he explained.

“From a Christian perspective, Jesus is also the light in the darkness for us. But It is also saying that there is light in the darkness, especially at this time of year with all that is going on globally,” said the Dean.

”This is a beacon overlooking the river. The tower was built to overlook the river. Now it has a different use for the modern day.”

Rev’d Sloane points out that St Mary’s Cathedral has presided over the city’s development for the last 850 years and in that time has witnessed its joys as well as its sorrows.

He said he is conscious Limerick sadly still has one of the highest rates of suicide in the country and is are all too aware of the role the river has played in these tragic events.

He paid tribute to the work of the volunteer groups within Limerick which offers support and comfort to those facing dark and troubling times.

The light which is visible from the river may remind everyone who sees it that there is light, whatever darkness may be overshadowing them.

The light, he added, is a symbol that people care, and that ultimately there is light in the darkness.