A RETIRED telecoms expert has invented a device that transmits Mass from his local church direct to homes in the parish. Former electronic engineer Liam Aylward has designed the device so that it can be installed through the back of a television set and once plugged in transmits 24/7 from St Oliver Plunkett in Lenadoon.
“Currently there are nine people in the parish that have one of my wee white boxes,” explained Liam.
“I have always been interested in inventing things, and coming from an engineering background I was always used to how the technical side of how things worked.
“I wanted to try and invent something that would transmit services but which wasn’t a webcam as they aren’t the best quality. I got in contact with the church and there is a transmitter attached to the outside of it now which is carrying the signal to the homes,” he said.
“You can use it on a flat screen 50-inch television set and the picture and sound quality are superb.”
Liam decided to come up with something that would help his wife, who suffers from asthma, “feel like she’s in the church”.
“My wife would go to Mass on a Sunday but with her asthma it’s hard to go every day. Now she can watch morning Mass, Christenings, weddings and funerals on this device.
“It’s a great invention for those parishioners who might not be able to get out of the house or who are suffering from ill health.
“Basically, the box is very easy to install, it takes around an hour. It plugs into the back of your TV and you have instant access.
“It’s a free service and the only catch is that your home must be in a position to pick up the signal.”
Fr Martin Magill told the Andersonstown News that the visual broadcast goes one step further than walkie-talkie and allows people to feel part of proceedings in the church.
“We have broadcast Masses on the radio for a while now and we find it is of immense importance to our housebound parishioners.”
For more information or to obtain one of Liam’s transmitters telephone the parish office on 90 618180.