Tuesday 16 January 2018

Martin lashes killers who shot victims in front of children

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said a child's first communion should be a simple celebration, not an extravagent and expensive one
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said a child's first communion should be a simple celebration, not an extravagent and expensive one

Tim Healy

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has lashed out at the callous killers who gunned down two convicted criminals in front of their children.

Dr Martin described the violence as "simply amoral".

The prelate spoke out as he gave his support to the wording of the Children's Referendum.

He said: "A sense of public morality demands that voices are raised in a united and unambiguous way to express horror and rejection of the violence we have witnessed in this week.

"No economic or no political aim can be achieved through such violence.

"Anyone who has the possibility to end such violence and to keep the perpetrators of violence away from their mission of death must assume their responsibility." Declan O'Reilly was shot dead in front of his 12-year-old son in Dublin last week, 12 hours after Gerard Eglington was murdered in his Portarlington, Co Laois home, with a toddler and a 11-year-old inside.

Dr Martin said he believes the wording of the referendum is a "balanced" attempt to address rights and obligations of interested groups, while giving "a new focus on the centrality of the child's interests".

He made the comments when delivering the homily at a Mass at St Michan's Church at Halston Street, Dublin, to mark the opening of the new law term.

The congregation included Attorney General Maire Whelan and senior members of the judiciary.

Stressing he was expressing a personal view, Dr Martin said he hoped public debate on the children's referendum "will reflect the same seriousness which has marked its realisation".

However, he warned a constitutional change will not be "a magic formula which will resolve all the challenges for parents and children which sadly often emerge in our complex society".

"A change of culture will take a long time to be embedded within the various levels of society and public service," he said.

In her address at the annual service at St Michan's Church of Ireland on Church Street, Rev Dr Heather Morris, president-elect of the Methodist Church in Ireland, said"theology must be practical and Christians must respond to and act upon the issues of our time, including health, education, poverty, hospitality to strangers and violence in our homes and one our streets".

Irish Independent

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