Parish ‘to be consulted’ about future of Oratory

ANY decision on the future of the Aras Mhuire Oratory in Dungannon will only be taken after consultation with the various parish groupings, the Tyrone Times has been told.

Parish Priest, Dean Colum Curry, made the comment in reaction to speculation that the well-used facility at Shambles Lane in the town may be moved to the Convent of Mercy at Northland Row.

One local source contacted the Times to vent his frustration that parishioners had not been consulted on any proposal regarding the Oratory, which has been used by the community for Adoration for at least a decade.

Responding to the claim that a decision had already been taken to relocate the Oratory, Dean Curry said:

“I have heard that rumour as well but at the moment, no decision has been made.

“It has yet to be discussed at the various parish groupings. Nothing would be done without consulting the relevant groups.

“To be honest, this is not a news item at the moment.

“It is just speculation, and all these issues would have to be discussed through the appropriate channels.

“There hasn’t been anything decided yet but if it is the case that anything is to be considered, it will be done properly through the various parish groupings, such as the Financial Committee and the Pastoral Council.”

According to the source who contacted this paper, the Oratory is well used by members of the community at all times of the day, some arriving as early as 6am.

“It is surprising to see the number of people who go in to light a candle or say a prayer”, said the local man.

“Even people who don’t go to Mass are using the Oratory. It is manned by the people and is used for adoration of what the people believe in.

“The Parish needs to be upfront about what is happening in this instance and put it to the people of Dungannon. The Oratory belongs to the people.”