Archbishop calls on politicians to put needs of country first

‘Splintering and bickering helps nobody,’ Diarmuid Martin tells congregation

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘Our city and our country have many urgent needs. I appeal this morning to political leaders to place these needs first.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘Our city and our country have many urgent needs. I appeal this morning to political leaders to place these needs first.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Archbishop of Dublin has called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to avoid a general election and to put the needs of the country first.

In a homily to mark the re-opening of Huntstown Church in Clonsilla, north Dublin on Sunday morning, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said political “splintering and bickering” damages not just politics but also “the service people need”.

“Our city and our country have many urgent needs. I appeal this morning to political leaders to place these needs first.”

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese confirmedDr Martin was referring specifically to the current political impasse between the two major parties, which may lead to a general election before Christmas.

“We live in a world where there is so much inequality, where children do not have the same opportunities not just in different parts of the world, but even in different parts of this city,” Dr Martin said.

“We live in a world where there is still corruption and violence. People are exploited in many ways and are trafficked and treated as slaves.

“We live in a world where, alongside great and demonstrative wealth, many have difficulties in making ends meet.

“We live in a world where we throw away tons of food each week and where we have children coming to school hungry.”

It was the first mass at Huntstown Church since its restoration following a fire last year. The blaze, which was likely caused by a faulty light fitting, gutted the building.

“I congratulate Father George Begley, alongside all the priests in this wider pastoral area and all those who over the past months have done everything to restore the Church and improve its facilities,” Dr Martin said.

“I remember coming over from a bishops in Maynooth meeting at lunchtime the day after the Church had been burnt down. I will never forget the look of desolation on Father George’s face.

“But even on that day he did not give in to desperation and day after day he worked with dedication until the day on which he had the satisfaction of seeing the Church’s doors finally re-opened.”