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Duiske Abbey Monks in Procession

Duiske Abbey Monks in Procession

Graignamanagh, County Kilkenny, Ireland

Graignamanagh kicked off the 800th anniversary celebrations for Duiske Abbey with a candlelight procession through the town's streets on Thursday evening, the first of January 2004, with more than 300 people walking silently into the abbey.

A boat carrying actors dressed as monks arrived in the town on the banks of the River Barrow at 4:30PM on New Year's Day. The monks disembarked and then led observers through the streets an into the beautiful Cisterian abbey in the centre of the town. The service occurred with candlelight only and it featured the Duiske Abbey Choir singing medieval hymns under the guidance of Sister Cora Hayes and organist Brenda Foskin.

This wonderful celebration kicked off a year of festivities which will include a summer fair, concerts, a book of essays about the town and a closing pageant at the end of 2004.

The abbey has already installed new stained glass windows to mark the anniversary, effectively restoring the look of the abbey to how it would have appeared in medieval times.

Another activity for visitors to The Commons Cottage.