Sculpture honouring archbishop unveiled

A sculpture to honour an Irish archbishop murdered in Burundi in 2003 will be unveiled in Co Galway this weekend, it emerged tonight.

A sculpture to honour an Irish archbishop murdered in Burundi in 2003 will be unveiled in Co Galway this weekend, it emerged tonight.

The eight-foot limestone memorial for Archbishop Michael Courtney is located in the grounds of St Brendan’s Cathedral in Loughrea.

The unveiling will follow a special Mass in St Brendan’s for the Vatican diplomat, who was 58 when he died.

Minister of State and local TD Noel Treacy will represent the Government at the event, and MEP Sean O’Neachtain will attend on behalf of the European Parliament.

Family members and close personal friends of the Nenagh-born archbishop will also be present.

He died when his motorcade was attacked by rebel gunmen in Minago, south of the Burundi capital, Bujumbura, on December 29, 2003.

At the time, the ruling Tutsi government accused Hutu rebels from the National Liberation Forces (NFL) of being responsible, but the rebels denied any involvement.

The Bishop of Clonfert, Dr John Kirby, will celebrate the special Mass on Sunday.

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