Thursday, December 19, 2013

STATEMENT OF BISHOP PAT BUCKLEY in Belfast Crown Court Mr Justice Mark Horner has imposed a suspended sentence on me. 
I am 61 years old and this is the very first time in my life that I have found myself on the wrong side of the law.

These proceedings began by me wholeheartedly assisting the police in 2010. I have never been arrested. I have never been the subject of a personal or home search. I have never been detained.

I have never sought to profit from the miserable circumstances in which the non EU participants have found themselves.

I had a genuine affinity with the poor. I do feel a strong sense of compassion for those who must live outside the EU in profound poverty and in appalling circumstances.

I am glad that the judge and the prosecution accept that I have provided solace to the outcast and that my door is always open to the downtrodden.

I am sorry for allowing my compassion to bring me to the point of breaking the laws that our whole society agree upon.

I did not intend to offend my fellow citizens but accept that I have and again for that I am sorry.

At this time of the year let us remember that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were emigrants into Egypt and the Wise Men of the time came from the East.

We are all descendants of immigrants..

Finally to those who want to rush to judge me can I address the words of the most famous man ever convicted or put on trial: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

+ Pat Buckley
19th December 2013.

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