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A message for politicians: Put the country first

By Cian Molloy - 27 November, 2017

As the country totters towards a general election because of the row over who knew what, and when, about the plot to besmirch the good name of Garda whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin has called on politicians to put the needs of the country first.

The Archbishop made his appeal in a homily given at a Mass celebrating the reopening of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Huntstown.  The church building, which lies off the N2 Navan Road in the northwest of County Dublin, had been almost completely razed in June 2016, when a fire broke out, most likely as a result of a faulty electrical light fitting.

Coincidentally, as it was the Feast of Christ the King, a day when the Church traditionally prays for political and civic leaders that they may have strength and integrity, and that they may serve the public good.

In his homily, Archbishop Martin pointed out that there were many issues concerning the public good that need the attention of our political leaders. He said, “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. 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.”

If a snap general election is held, because Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael cannot reach agreement on how to handle the latest political crisis surrounding the action of An Garda Síochána and its senior officers, as well as the Department of Justice and the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, opportunities to take action on these issues will be lost.

Additionally, north of the border, the Six Counties are left without an effective government because Stormont’s politicians appear unwilling to reach a satisfactory working arrangement with one another.

“Our city and our country have many urgent needs,” said Archbishop Martin.  “I appeal this morning to political leaders to place these needs first.  Splintering and bickering damage not just politics but damage the service people need.”

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