Huge turnout for Burt’s inaugural biker Mass

Fr. Gerry Sweeney with some of the 300 Bikes who attended the bikers mass at St. Aengus Church Burt, Co. Donegal. (NewspixIrl)
Fr. Gerry Sweeney with some of the 300 Bikes who attended the bikers mass at St. Aengus Church Burt, Co. Donegal. (NewspixIrl)

An estimated 120 bikers were buzzing about Burt last Sunday to celebrate an extra special service held by the local curate.

Fr.. Gerard Sweeney, CC in the famous St Aengus’ Church, held the Mass to honour, bless and remember motorcyclists who have died on the roads. The bikers also raised money for the RNLI and donated the money to the local Buncrana branch.

Fr. Sweeney, who has been a keen biking enthusiast for over 17 years, said he was delighted with the level of support the Mass received.

“I would have been happy with 30 or 40 bikers turning up, but I was blown away with the number of people who came along. We succeeded in raising about 1100 euro for the RNLI which is really important. The support is truly greatly appreciated.”

The biker priest said remembering lost friends was a huge motivation for many of the men and women who came along on the day.

“There was guys from Sligo who came to the Mass and they lost their friend on the roads just four weeks ago. They asked me to pray from him specifically. It is important for a lot of people to remember their lost friends.”

As well as praying for bikers who have passed away, the Burt priest said it was important also to promote safe biking.

“It can be quite scary at times, in fact two bikers crashed just on the border while on their way to the Church, thankfully there was no fatalities though, although they did sustain a few broken bones.

“It just reminds you how dangerous it can be at times, in fact on the day I nearly came off the bike myself, it definitely gives you a bit of a scare.”

Fr. Sweeney said he felt was extremely positive as it showed the strong comradeship that exists amongst bikers.

“Bikers don’t care about different religions, there were people there from all faiths. In fact one my friends, Jimmy Mullen from Strabane, who has been a biker for many years, helped me organise the event said there is a lot of interest in keeping the thing going. I never realised how important it is to people, but a lot of people want to turn it into an annual event so I said definitely if that’s what people want then it shouldn’t be a problem. If nothing else its a good way to raise money for the RNLI.”

Fr. Sweeney also thanked the media for their extensive coverage and help in making the day such a big success.

For full picture coverage on the motorcyclists Mass see page 12