Knife crime ‘must always be condemned’, says Dublin archbishop

Dermot Farrell says country ‘desensitised’ to knife violence and resulting deaths ‘which are far, far too numerous’

 Archbishop Dermot Farrell (Right) at the Holy Spirit Church, Ballymun preparing for his his first mass since being appointed as Archbishop of Dublin, alongside Fr Ciaran Enright, Co PP and Fr Declan Blake. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Archbishop Dermot Farrell (Right) at the Holy Spirit Church, Ballymun preparing for his his first mass since being appointed as Archbishop of Dublin, alongside Fr Ciaran Enright, Co PP and Fr Declan Blake. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Knife crime “must always be condemned” and communities across the country must work together to “communicate our vision of non-violence”, Dublin’s new Catholic Archbishop has said.

Speaking at his first Mass since his installation, in Holy Spirit Church in Ballymun, Dublin, on Sunday Archbishop Dermot Farrell said he wanted to use the opportunity to “say a word about knife crime and knife violence”.

“Carrying a knife does not ensure your security. You do not leave your home carrying a knife with you with the sole purpose of peeling an apple or an orange. Rather, when you carry a knife, you travel down a very dangerous road full of risk,” he said.

“Sooner or later, it will be used in a malicious way which puts yourself and others in the way of injury and death. This is not the way to construct a world that is safe. Safe for ourselves. Safe for our children. Safe for the vulnerable, be they young or old, friend or stranger. Violence is not the way.”

He added: “Knife crime and violence, which is self-destructive, must always be condemned.”

Archbishop Farrell said the country had become “desensitised” to knife violence and the resulting deaths, “which are far, far too numerous in our country these days”.

“While laws and regulations may help, we need a different way of thinking which turns the dominant and destructive culture on its head. We need to come, above all, to the realisation that in wielding a knife, everything can be lost, and very little or nothing can be gained.”

The Archbishop added that there has been a “loss of empathy” towards other human beings.

“We have no empathy towards our brothers and sisters. The truth of who we are and what we are is at stake when we lose empathy,” he added.

He called on every person throughout the country to “communicate our vision of non-violence to a culture that advocates carrying knives and wielding them to intimidate people or, indeed, to settle disputes”.

The Archbishop also paid tribute to a recent victim of knife violence, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and who died in recent weeks.

“I pray to the Lord for the one who has been mortally wounded in this latest bout of inhuman violence. We pray for innocent people who are accidentally involved in evil,” he said.

Archbishop Farrell was formally installed in the role last Tuesday, following the retirement of former Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who had been in the position since 2004.