Catholic priest who played ‘The Sash’ inundated with messages of support from well wishers ‘including two Orange Lodges’ - ‘but does not plan on going viral again’

A Catholic priest who played ‘The Sash’ at the end of Sunday Mass ‘did not expect to become an online sensation’, according to his nephew.

Thursday, 21st May 2020, 3:04 pm

Canon Jimmy McPhillips from Holy Cross Church in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, was seen in the online footage using a device to line-up the music - but immediately looks confused when the unmistakable tune ‘The Sash’ begins.

At the very end of Mass he had recited a plethora of jokes to his parishioners before making the ‘mistake’ of playing the well-known tune.

After the mishap he makes a joke saying: “Sorry, that’s the wrong one. Sorry about that. It’s a bit early for that, isn’t it?”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Garbhan McPhillips - an SDLP Councillor in Omagh and Canon McPhillip’s nephew - said: “He did not expect the reaction to what he did as he only did it for his parishioners and so anybody who comes to him from the media is given my name.

“But he is delighted at all the positive messages and emails he is receiving, it is fantastic.

“He has not received anything negative. He told me he even received nice emails from Orange Lodges”.

Garbhan jokes that his uncle “will have to watch himself” from now on.

“He says he doesn’t want anything to go viral again,” he said.

“Even though it is a bit late for that.

“My wife and I were watching it live on Sunday and I just burst out laughing - I just thought he had meant to do that and it was totally planned - and it was.

“At every mass he always has a few wee stories and wee jokes to brighten the day for people at home watching.”

“He has always been very good like that with his congregation no matter what age people are.

“He is a true modern day priest and always up for a bit of craic.

“A few have said to me it was a ‘Father Ted’ moment - but I think it has reached out to people who were not as keen on religion.

“He is deep down loving it, but is shying away from the sensation he started”.