Ireland’s newest bishop has welcomed immigrants into Ireland in his first Christmas address.
Linking how many Irish are immigrants in other countries with recent
immigration to Ireland, Killaloe’s Bishop Fintan Monahan noted that at
Christmas “our emigrants are very much on our minds”.
Dr Monahan welcomed those who have returned to Ireland for the
holiday period, saying his thoughts were with those who could not come
home, and added, “I extend a special word of welcome to those who have
come to join us from other countries and enrich our work-force and
culture by settling in our midst.”
Picking up on a common theme since his episcopal ordination in
September, the bishop also used his Christmas message to highlight
rising concerns about the decline of rural services and the isolation
this is causing.
“Several elderly people are feeling the pinch and with this an
increased sense of loneliness and being abandoned,” he said, calling for
all involved in the decision making and provision of rural services to
bear this in mind even if this might not be financially profitable.
Praising the work of community organisations and district day care
centres, he said, “The quality of life in country areas is so worth
preserving and maintaining even if it comes at a cost.”