Evening mass held in a borrowed hall

WITH THEIR own church now a police incident scene being searched by officers, more than 150 St Andrew's parishioners - some who witnessed the morning's events - gathered for a service at the Salvation Army last night.

In an attempt to maintain some normality, the parish priest, the Rev John O'Toole, held the usual evening mass,though he did speak of the attack and asked the congregation to pray for those affected.

"You can move from joyful to ordinary to tragic very quickly. It is very difficult for your emotions to catch up with all these changes," he said. "I am sure we are all still numb with shock. It is not a time for a lot of words. It is time for prayer for those who are injured, some severely, and for the man who committed this dreadful act. Pray for his family and friends."

After the service, Bella Prins, 48, said she could still remember the screaming and panic in the church that morning and felt she had to come back to comfort others.