Thousands attend Galway novena despite bad weather

Parking not an issue this year

Last week’s Storm Darwin did not stop the faithful from coming out in large numbers to attend the annual Solemn Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Galway cathedral.

Each year about 10,000 people a day attend the novena and cathedral administrator, Canon Peter Rabbitte told The Irish Catholic that numbers last week were very close to previous years. “The weather here was not as bad as other parts of the country but last Wednesday at the height of the storm we had 500-600 people at the 3.30pm session. Normally we would have almost three times that, so we were affected by the weather, but that day proved that people were still prepared to make the effort,” he said.

Last year there was controversy during the novena when the local council blitzed parking violations around the cathedral. According to Canon Rabbitte the parking problems were largely resolved this year “thanks to the co-operation of Galway City Council”, who accepted the parish’s request for closure of a section of road around the cathedral which became an overflow car park.