‘When I was a stranger …’ Dublin and Glendalough support refugee housing project
Forty people who had been living in Ireland’s Direct Provision system have moved into new homes thanks to a project which is supported by the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.
The Irish Refugee Council’s (IRC) Transitional Housing Project helps people who have been granted asylum to overcome one of the greatest obstacles to leaving Direct Provision – finding accommodation.
The project is about more than just bricks and mortar. It supports each individual to begin their new lives, whether it be by securing full-time employment, commencing third-level education, pursuing advanced English classes, having qualifications accredited in Ireland or securing school places for their children.
Many Acts of Remembrance will soon take place to remember the dead of two World Wars and subsequent conflicts. One of the more hopeful developments in recent years has been the recognition that many Irish citizens also fought and died in the two World Wars, and are being remembered.
For instance, Adare Community Council, in Co. Limerick, will host a World War I heritage event to commemorate the 21 young men from the Adare area who lost their lives in World War I. These men came from all classes and creeds in the area and many, sadly, were not honoured for their gallantry, fighting for “the freedom of small nations”. On Sunday, 12th November, for the observation of Remembrance Sunday, there will be an Ecumenical Service in St Nicholas’ Church, followed by the dedication of a memorial plaque. It will be placed on a cut stone obelisk in the Adare Village Park.
As we contemplate Remembrance Sunday we are also aware of the added poignancy for the citizens of Enniskillen. Who can forget the images across our TV screens 30 years ago? The Remembrance Day bombing took place on 8th November 1987 in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. An IRA bomb exploded near the town’s cenotaph during the annual Remembrance ceremony. Twelve people, many of them senior citizens, were killed because of that bomb, and 63 were injured. In a special Songs of Praise programme, Claire McCollum will be in Enniskillen where, three decades before, such needless suffering was caused. The programme will be broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday 12th November at 4.20pm.
In one of the military cemeteries in Flanders can be found a gravestone with the following inscription: “Sleep on beloved until we meet again”. They are the words of someone who was trying to capture the sense of tenderness and tragedy on the loss of their loved one, a soldier who had lost his life in one of the many battles during World War I.
That area of Flanders, in Belgium, has so many beautifully maintained cemeteries and War Memorials to honour the dead and wounded of that terrible conflict. These are now places of peace and reflection in a place where there was once terrible loss of life. Somehow that gravestone, with its touching inscription, speaks as eloquently as any of the great monuments and memorials. What it speaks of is the terrible cost of war and conflict. It puts into words that the human cost of conflict is borne personally, not just by those who lost their lives, but by those who mourn them. That is why remembrance is such a poignant thing.
The Island of Ireland Peace Park is situated in Messines, near Ypres, in Flanders. It is a war memorial to the soldiers of the island of Ireland who died, were wounded or are missing from World War I. The tower memorial is close to the site of the June 1917 battle for the Messines Ridge.
A bronze tablet on a granite pillar lies in the centre circle of the park and bears the following inscription: “From the crest of this ridge, which was the scene of terrific carnage in the First World War on which we have built a peace park and Round Tower to commemorate the thousands of young men from all parts of Ireland who fought a common enemy, defended democracy and the rights of all nations, whose graves are in shockingly uncountable numbers and those who have no graves, we condemn war and the futility of war. We repudiate and denounce violence, aggression, intimidation, threats and unfriendly behaviour.”
The inscription ends with these words: “As we jointly thank the armistice of 11 November 1918 – when the guns fell silent along this western front – we affirm that a fitting tribute to the principles for which men and women from the Island of Ireland died in both World Wars would be permanent peace.”
As we long for and search for meaningful peace in 2017, it seems a fitting exhortation, so that no one will ever again have to inscribe: “Sleep on beloved until we meet again”.
- Hope theme underpins range of issues addressed at Derry and Raphoe Synod
- Diocese of Limerick institution and installation
- Dromore Diocese service of introduction
- Clogher Diocese parish church marks 200 years of worship
- Changing Attitude Ireland AGM Lecture
- Presentation to mark retirement of dedicated KEA cleric
- Presentation to Down Diocese parish
- Anglican and Oriental-Orthodox Churches sign historic agreement in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
- Retired Clergy Association (NI) marks 25th anniversary
In Perspective – Navigating our way into the future
Faith Lives – An occasional series – hearing how faith is lived out by people and parishes across the Church of Ireland – Carol Hennessy, a parishioner in Kilternan Parish, describes how her faith journey led to practical action.
Feature – Marking the Reformation: 500 years on – a Lutheran perspective
Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal supports Rohingya refugees and others in crisis situations
Letters to the Editor
UTV drama – Victoria
I WONDER if other readers were troubled by the portrayal of the Church of Ireland in the recent UTV drama, Victoria? I am only writing now as I have been catching up with episodes, managing to watch the ‘Famine’ episode last week.
The character of Dr Robert Traill, the rector of Schull, was very well portrayed and he would appear to have been a wonderful man, helping the stricken population in such a generous way that it resulted in his own death.
There is a mention of him in The Church of Ireland, An illustrated history, on page 51. I could not find a reference to him in The Great Hunger by Cecil Woodham-Smith. I have not had a chance to follow up this research with a visit to the library. I wonder if he did have a meeting with Queen Victoria
as shown in the series on TV? In contrast to Dr Traill, the portrayal of the other Church of Ireland clergy was most unsympathetic. The Bishop of Cork could almost be described as an ethnic cleanser, in the Bosnian mould. His colleagues were craven followers of an
obvious bully of a Bishop. How accurate is this picture? It would be very interesting to hear from any member of our Church who has studied this area, maybe from the Cork Diocese, who has seen this episode and can comment on
its authenticity or otherwise. It would be interesting to know what advice, if any, the film-maker took from the Church
Brexit and banking
SO, MASSIVE redundancies are forecast to occur in the London banking sector as a result of Brexit.
Good, I say. These overpaid, parasitic bankers will now be available to fill the socially
useful, albeit low paid, agricultural jobs shortly to be vacated by Brexiting Eastern Europeans.
John Eoin Douglas Edinburgh
ALL THINGS MADE NEW: WRITINGS ON THE REFORMATION
Author: Diarmaid MacCulloch Publisher: Allen Lane
ONE FOR SORROW Author: Alan Hargrave Publisher: SPCK; pp.97
SACRED SPACE: THE PRAYER BOOK 2018 Authors: The Irish Jesuits Publisher: Messenger Publications
Primate urges parishes to reach out to neighbours in Address to Armagh Diocesan Synod
Derry and Raphoe MU launches celebratory book