Priest criticises refusal to help boys' mother

Tue, Nov 6, 2012, 00:00

A priest has condemned people who refused to open their doors to Glenda Moore, the mother of two young Irish boys who were swept away in last week’s Hurricane Sandy.

Last night Fr Philip Daly, from Ms Moore’s husband Damien’s home parish of Portnoo, said he could not come to terms with the reaction of people to Ms Moore’s desperate pleas for help.

“You can’t put into words what she must have been going through.

“That awfulness wasn’t helped by the actions of these so-called neighbours who refused to give support to the poor woman.

“When she went to the first house she was told to clear off and leave them alone and they closed the door in her face despite her pleas for help. She then went to the next house and got no reaction there. She was all on her own.

Hysterical

“She was hysterical and I’m sure she got her message across but they weren’t interested. Whether it was fear or not I don’t know, but it was a rather strange reaction to someone in need of support,” he said.

The boys’ father Damien was at work with the city council when the tragedy occurred.

Fr Daly has been comforting Mr Moore’s parents, Paddy and Fay, who are in their 80s. They moved to Loughfad, in Co Donegal on their retirement, having spent a large part of their life in the US.

He said they could not bring themselves to speak about what had happened to their grandchildren. But he said the entire community was rallying behind them since the tragedy had come to light.

Since Friday last a stream of people have been calling to the couple’s home with mass cards and other gifts.

A person at the couple’s home said yesterday that they were not planning on giving interviews to the media.

Fr Daly said Mr Moore regularly visited his home in Donegal where he had many cousins and other relations, and the Moore family were very well-known locally.

Mr Moore left Donegal in his 20s after working at a number of jobs in the fishing and forestry sectors.

It is understood his only sibling, his brother Patrick, who lives in England, has flown out to the US to join him.

Fr Daly said: “Damien was born here in Portnoo but emigrated young in life and married Glenda. He works for the city council in New York, but over the years always kept up contact with the area and visited his parents here at Loughfad. The news has come as a huge shock to locals in this area”.

Fr Daly confirmed the family is hoping to arrange a remembrance in St Conal’s Church, Kilclooney on the day of the funeral in New York which is still being arranged.

Support

“For various reasons Paddy and Fay cannot travel to the funeral so the community felt it was important to show our support for them.

“We think the funeral could be Friday but we are not certain at this stage.

“Whenever it is arranged for, we will also have a Mass here in memory of the two boys and to pray for Damien, Glenda, Paddy, Fay and all their family and friends,” he said.

He added that the only consolation was that the boys’ bodies had been found and that they could have a proper funeral and burial.