#OTD in 2001 – Irish soil is sprinkled over the casket of Sister Theresa Egan as more than 2,000 mourners attend her funeral in St Lucia.

Irish soil is sprinkled over the casket of Sr Theresa Egan as more than 2,000 people on the Caribbean island of St Lucia attended her funeral. She was killed in an attack on a Roman Catholic church on New Year’s Eve.

Armed men with blowtorches and machetes attacked mass-goers of St Lucia. Seventy-two year-old Sr Theresa Egan, originally from Clonaslee, Co Laois was killed in the attack and Sr Mel Kenny from Clonmacnoise was slightly injured.

Sr Theresa who was a member of the St Joseph of Cluny Sisters, had been working in the West Indies for fifty years and had been based in St Lucia for 30 years. She was a former primary school principal and was involved in education on the island. Sr Theresa Egan is survived by three sisters, all of whom are presentation nuns. The St Joseph of Cluny Order said they were shocked and extremely upset at the news.

Sr Theresa was one of three nuns who had been giving out communion at 6 o’clock mass yesterday evening. Four men, armed with blowtorches, kerosene and machetes stormed the church and began attacking people. At least 13 people were injured, including the priest who received severe burns. Police have described the violence as religiously motivated.

One of the attackers was reported to have spoken of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s late emperor who is worshipped as the manifestation of God by Rastafarians in the Caribbean. St Lucia’s Rastafarian leaders have denounced the attack. The island’s Government has said yesterday was “a tragic day for St Lucia”.

 

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