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Knock Shrine takes 'unprecedented' decision to close on busiest day over Covid-19 fears

The Feast of the Assumption on 15 August is typically the busiest day of the year in Knock.

The Knock Shrine in Mayo attracts thousands of people on 15 August.
The Knock Shrine in Mayo attracts thousands of people on 15 August.
Image: Shutterstock/shutterupeire

THE KNOCK SHRINE will not be open on what would ordinarily be its busiest day of the year – the Feast of the Assumption on 15 August. 

The closure of the grounds comes in the wake of the recent spike in Covid-19 cases

Over 20,000 people would normally attend the Shrine and visit the grounds in Knock on 15 August. 

The decision was taken following discussions between church and state bodies. 

In a statement, Fr Richard Gibbons, the rector of the Knock Shrine, said the decision was taken “in the light of the current escalation of Covid-19 cases around the country together with the sheer impossibility of having the resources necessary to deal with the potential of large numbers of people gathering at the Shrine”. 

He called it an “unprecedented and heart-breaking decision”.

Gibbons appealed to people not to travel to Knock on the 15 August, stressing that the Shrine and grounds “will be closed off to everyone”. 

“As the National Marian Shrine, we have been extra vigilant in living up to our responsibilities amid this pandemic in placing people’s physical and spiritual wellbeing to the fore,” he added. 

The Shrine and the grounds will be closed from 8pm on 14 August until 7am on 16 August. 

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