Read a message from Fr Ger Breen, Parish Priest of Ballyna on the re-opening of Parish Church in Broadford.

I am very happy to be the Parish Priest of Balyna on this historic occasion of the re-opening of our Parish Church in Broadford. I can very easily relate to the joyful emotions of the late Fr. Felix Treacy P.P., one hundred and fifty-two years ago when the doors of St. Marys opened for the first time. It does seem a remarkable co-incidence that even though all those years separate us, both Fr. Treacy and I were born and reared in the same town of Mountrath, Co. Laois. Life is full of surprises!

The renovation work on Broadford Church, which lasted from mid-September 2007 to mid-December 2007 was a model of how building works in general ought to be done: fast, clean, efficient and utterly professional. We had an excellent Architect in Mr. Richard Barnwall and an excellent Building Contractor in Mr. Liam Johnson. Under their leadership and direction the builders did an absolutely wonderful job of restoration and renovation.

Broadford Church was originally built to a very high standard. We are delighted to have played our part in restoring it to its former architectural integrity. Thankfully, the good weather during the autumn allowed the builders to complete the roof quickly, which ultimately led to all of the building works on the church being completed a full month ahead of schedule.

It is the common consensus of the people of the parish that the finished result is truly magnificent. Everyone in the community is absolutely delighted with how tastefully Broadford Church has been restored and we are very proud to now have such a beautiful church in which to celebrate our Sunday Masses, weekday Masses, Baptisms, Marriages and Funeral farewells.

This is a day of great joy for the Parish of Balyna. I am sure that the many thousands of Broadford people who worshipped here throughout the past hundred and fifty-two years, and who are now part of the communion of saints in heaven, are with us in spirit today in celebrating this Solemn Dedication Ceremony.

To all those who played any part in the refurbishing work I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation.

May God bless all those who enter this church and may Mary, under whose patronage this church is dedicated, continue to watch over us all now and at the hour of our death. Amen.