News archive 2009

Message of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for Saint Patrick’s Day 2009

PRESS RELEASE
16 March 2009

Message of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for Saint Patrick’s Day 2009

Church leaders in Northern Ireland have asked for prayers on Saint Patrick’s’ Day following the tragic events of the past week which cost the lives of two young soldiers and a policeman and have awakened anxieties about a peace process which is so full of promise.   I fully endorse that request. The current threat cannot be underestimated. There is no room for complacency.
I cannot speak about the new outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland without also expressing my concern yet again about further episodes of gangland violence in and around Dublin.  Violence begets violence.  We are witnessing the incongruous situation in which one revenge-killing begets further revenge, and precisely those who think that violence is an answer end up being the most vulnerable to the next round.  This absurd violence and disregard for human life has been going on for too long.  It has to stop. 

The violence will not stop by one criminal group thinking that they have come out best. The battle is greater; it is about definitively defeating that trade in death and exploitation of human weakness which is the drug trade and all who support it in any way.

We need to send an urgent and unambiguous message that as one community, North and South, without distinction of belief or of political allegiance, we are united against anyone who takes the path of violence.

Saint Patrick’s Day, provides a moment to reflect on the fragility of our times and our future if we place our trust in egoism and self centeredness.  Ireland faced and came through even harder times in the past through the strength of community and solidarity.  We need these values today.  They cannot be imposed from above.  They must be constructed by each of us, each day, in each new situation.  We must help ensure that the idealism and generosity of the younger generation can be welcomed and channelled into a new culture of solidarity.

Ends
16 March 2009

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