Parishioners start petition urging order to rescind Fr Troy's transfer


A GROUP of parishioners in north Belfast have started a petition urging the Passionist Order to rescind its decision to transfer the Rev Aidan Troy from Ardoyne to Paris.

The petition leaflets were distributed after Masses at Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne, where Fr Troy ministers.

“People were wailing and crying when they heard the news Fr Troy is leaving. People are devastated. We don’t want him to go, he can’t go, Fr Troy is irreplaceable,” said Tracy Campbell, who with her friend Colette Wilkinson started the petition. “We’ve had a huge response. Thousands of people want to sign it,” she added.

Fr Troy has served in north Belfast for seven years coming to public attention during the Holy Cross school dispute in 2001 when children were picketed as they went to school. He also worked to help reduce the high level of suicides, especially of young people, in north Belfast.

“We have had some terrible suicides in north Belfast but if it wasn’t for the work of Fr Troy there would have been a lot more. I know of several people who were stopped from taking their lives because of Fr Troy,” said Ms Campbell.

“I can’t properly put into words how important Fr Troy is . . . I have spoken to people from the Shankill who also don’t want him to go because he has done such good work on the peace lines,” she added.

Fr Troy said he tried to discourage people from launching the petition “because it will make no difference”.

He was sure that the order would not alter its decision, notwithstanding local opinion.