”The whole place gasped. She was really shook”.

An elderly woman has been left bloodied after she was accidentally struck by a holy water sprinkler while at mass in County Kilkenny. 

The woman in her 80s was at a Confirmation Mass in Mullinavat at the weekend, when the top of the aspergillum flew off as Bishop Dermot Farrell was blessing the congregation, reports the Irish Mirror.

A witness told the Irish Mirror: “I was at the Mass when it happened. The Bishop was blessing everyone with holy water and the top of the stick, the metal bit, flew across the church and hit the woman directly in the face.

“It flew off at a speed and she was sitting about 15ft away so it hit her really hard. She got an awful fright, the whole place gasped. She was really shook.

“It hit her between the forehead and nose and it is quite possible she would have needed stitches.”

“I don’t know if she had family making their Confirmation or if she was just at Mass herself but the poor woman was visibly in pain.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the Catholic Bishop of Ossory said: “An unfortunate small incident occurred.

“Bishop Dermot has been speaking with Fr Liam Barron, the local parish priest, and is assured that the lady is fine and in good spirits.”