Media Diary Notice to announce the visit of the sacred relics of Saint Kilian to Cavan

21 Feb 2024

Caption Bishop Martin Hayes, Bishop of Kilmore (Catholic Communications Office archive)
  • Bishop Martin Hayes: visit of Saint Kilian’s relics consolidates faith and friendship between Kilmore and Wurzburg

You, or a representative, are invited to attend a press conference to announce the visit of the sacred relics of Saint Kilian to Cavan:
What   Visit of relics of Saint Kilian and martyred colleagues Saints Totnan and Kolonat
When   28 February 2024 at 11.30 am
Where  Saint Kilian’s Heritage Centre, Mullagh, Co Cavan, A82 HW77
Who     In attendance will be: Bishop Martin Hayes, Bishop of Kilmore; Father Paul Prior, Parish Priest of Mullagh; Mr Eoin Doyle, CEO Cavan County Council; Councillor Shane O’Reilly, Chairperson of the Relics Visitation Committee; Ms Madeline Mellett, Board Member of Saint Kilian’s Trust; and, Ms Patricia Sheridan, Member of the Visitation Steering Committee.
This October, for the first time, the sacred relics of renowned 7th century Irish martyr Saint Kilian will return to his home county of Cavan from Würzburg in Germany.
This major religious and civic event is being organised in partnership between the Diocese of Kilmore, the Parish of Mullagh, and Cavan County Council.  The historic pilgrimage will involve the visit of Saint Kilian’s relics, along with those of his martyred colleagues, Saints Totnan and Kolonat.  The relics will be transported from their resting place in the Altar of Würzburg Cathedral, for five days from 2 to 6 October next.  The relics consist of three skulls, inlaid with precious stones, contained in a specially preserved glass case and it will be the first time that they will have left Germany.  During the course of the relics’ visit to Co Cavan, there will be a number of religious ceremonies taking place both in Saint Kilian’s Church, Mullagh, and in the Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Felim in Cavan Town.   A full schedule of events will be announced in due course.
Looking forward to the visit, Bishop Hayes said, “We anticipate – with great excitement in the parish of Mullagh and Kilmore Diocese – receiving the relics of Saint Kilian who left Mullagh fourteen centuries ago.  Along with people from across the diocese, I look forward to welcoming Bishop Franz Jung of the Diocese of Wurzburg in October, who will lead a pilgrimage from Germany of parishioners, Church and civic delegates.  This is a significant visit that will consolidate the faith and friendship between us which has grown over the years.  The visit will also be a wonderful opportunity for prayer and celebration in Mullagh and throughout our diocese.  The planning is the culmination of more than ten years of work to secure the necessary permission to bring these sacred relics overseas for the first time, and it represents a historic moment for the Christian faithful in both Germany and Ireland.”

For further information about the press conference on 28 February, and for media accreditation, please contact:

  • Father Darragh Connolly, Diocesan Communications Officer: [email protected]  and/or                               
  • Mr Conor Harrington, Communications and Media Officer Cavan County Council: [email protected]
  • Photographer John McElroy will be in attendance, and photographs for publicity will be available to media by contacting John on +353 (0) 87 241 6985 or [email protected]