Monday, February 17, 2014

Churches together help Limerick’s flood victims

Flooding in Limerick City. Pic courtesy: thejournal.ie and Sean Curtin. Storm Darwin has left the country reeling in its wake with over 100,000 homes and businesses without power and a litany of destruction following winds of up to 177km per hour.

Once again the south of the country has taken the brunt of these dramatic weather events.

Limerick city suffered damage in a number of places as the tornado-like wind made its effect felt in the city centre. Fear that even greater flooding would be unleashed by the storm is receding.

Some of the city’s parishes have already been devastated by heavy flooding in recent weeks.

Responding to the crisis, the Catholic and Church of Ireland dioceses have joined ranks to support St Mary’s Parish flood relief fund, established to assist the people of St Mary’s Parish in the aftermath of the recent severe flooding that has affected hundreds of residents.

The ‘St Mary’s Parish Relief Fund’ by St Mary’s Parish will be an opportunity for people from across both denominations to donate to one of the areas worst affected in the country by the recent flooding. 

The monies from the fund will go towards providing provisions such as food and fuel, clothing and bed clothing.

The fund will be administered though the parish in association with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which will also receive a direct contribution from the Catholic Diocese of Limerick and the Limerick Social Service Council.

In a statement, Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick said, “We have taken this step in response to the great need there is for support in St Mary’s Parish. Minister Brian Hayes said this is the worst flooding he has seen in the country and there is an acknowledgement that no community has been worst affected.”

HE continued, “People’s homes are not liveable, they have huge amounts of personal belongings destroyed and, in an area with significant socio-economic disadvantage, this has hit really hard. It is incumbent on all of us to do what we can and we are delighted to be joining with Bishop Trevor Williams and the Church of Ireland Diocese in putting the call out to the public to support this fund.”

“While we have all been struck by the plight of the people of St Mary’s Parish in this crisis, I think we have also been reminded of the magnificent sense of community spirit that exists on Kings Island as there has been as proud a sense of unity and solidarity in the area in this crisis as you could imagine.”

The Church of Ireland’s Bishop Trevor Williams said in a statement, “It is a terrible experience to watch your home being destroyed, knowing that you can do absolutely nothing to stop it.  This has been the experience of so many residents of King’s Island recently.”

“This disaster has been met with a wonderfully generous response by those who want to help. But some people may not know how their gift can find its way to those most in need.  St Mary’s Parish Relief Fund is there to make sure those who wish to help, can do so.”

“It’s at times of real need we can see that the impulse to care for one another is alive and well, and this appeal is to help us all support many families rebuild their lives.”

Donations can be made by cheque, payable to St Mary’s Parish – Flood Relief Fund and given to local parishes who will forward it to St Mary’s Parish. 

Alternatively, they can post cheque to St. Mary’s Presbytery, Athlunkard Street, Limerick. 

People can also donate through their bank to the relief fund account at the Allied Irish Bank, Raheen, Account No. 82611088, Sort Code 93:52:47.

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