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‘Level of Homelessness in Ireland means we cannot claim economic success‘- Bishop Leahy

By Sean Ryan - 19 November, 2017

With homelessness at an unprecedented state of crisis today in Ireland, it is almost unjust and unchristian to claim economic success.

The Bishop of Limerick Dr Brendan Leahy, has claimed that Ireland cannot claim itself to be an economic success while it neglects the poor.

He made his comments in a letter to the people of the Diocese to mark the first World Day of the Poor. The letter which will be read at all Masses in the Diocese of Limerick today, states that with homelessness at an unprecedented state of crisis today in Ireland, it is almost unjust and unchristian to claim economic success.

Bishop Leahy said ‘’throughout the centuries we have had great examples of outreach to the poor. The most outstanding example is that of Francis of Assisi, followed by many other holy men and women over the centuries. In Ireland we can think of great women such as Catherine McAuley and Nano Nagle’’.

He added, ‘’Today the call to hear the cry of the poor reaches us. In our diocese we are blessed to have the Limerick Social Services Council that responds in many ways. There are many other initiatives that reach out to the homeless, refugees and people in situations of marginlisation.’’

However, Bishop Leahy said that we cannot think that dealing with homelessness can be ‘’outsourced to others to do …and that each of us must play our part.’’ He stated, ‘’today many of us live a privileged life in the material sense compared to generations gone by, needing pretty much nothing. Yet there are people in our towns, in our villages for whom the need is very great.

Homelessness has become a crisis in Irish society and has been that way now for a number of years. But somehow, week in week out, that crisis deepens and yet we hear at the same time boasts of how our economy is growing. There’s a huge disparity here and it needs to be dealt with. This must be addressed and we pray that we will do our part to help political leaders to address the various scenarios of neglect that our country still suffers’’.

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