Parish in seventh heaven after €1m godsend

A €1 MILLION cheque from a mystery donor has answered the prayers of a country parish.

News of the massive godsend comes just days after one of the country’s largest ever charitable bequests netted €27.5m for a Cork nursing home.

Rev Fr John Kingston, parish priest of Innishannon and Knockavilla parish in Co Cork, confirmed yesterday that a local family, who wish to remain anonymous, has donated a whopping e1m to the parish fund.

“We really appreciate their generosity. And we thank God for their generosity,” he said.

The money will go towards two major church renovation projects, valued at over €3m, for which parishioners have been fundraising for the last five years.

The 206-year-old St Mary’s Church in Innishannon has already been completely renovated. The work included the repointing of its steeple, and the installation of new seats and a new public address system.

Fr Kingston said the focus will now switch to St Mary’s Church in Knockavilla, built around 1790, and which needs a complete revamp. The church, between Crossbarry and Upton, will have to be almost completely rebuilt and reroofed.

Fr Kingston said the €1m donation was a boost the parish fund. He told Massgoers about the donation at the weekend and said he had never before seen such a generous donation to a parish fund.

He described it as a wonderful contribution to the people of the parish.

Last Thursday, St Luke’s Nursing Home in Cork netted €27.5m from the sale of 11-acres of grassy land near Cork Airport, bequeathed to it by bachelor farmer Sidney Northridge.

Mr Northridge, who lived and farmed on the land and later became a resident at St Luke’s, died several years ago.

The two development sites sold at auction in just under 25 minutes.

Mr Northbridge’s bequest secures the future of St Luke’s and will help extend services at the 120-resident nursing home.

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