Source: Archdiocese of Dublin/RTE
The Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, has condemned a violent crime wave in the city in recent weeks and urged anyone with information to go to the police. In a strongly worded statement at the conclusion of Mass on Monday, in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral, the Archbishop said:
"On many recent occasions, I have expressed my concern and horror at the level of violence that has affected life in Dublin in recent years. I have spoken about the tragedy of knife violence especially among young people. I have spoken about violence fostered by the revolting business of death of the drug cartels.
In the past weeks, this violence has taken on an unprecedented level of depravity with shootings taking place unscrupulously near schools and shopping centres, leaving families terrified and children witnessing brutality that will leave scars on their lives for years.
Who are the people who carry out and sponsor such violence? Where do they think they have a mandate to carry out such shameful violence simply in order to secure their own wealth?
The perpetrators and sponsors of such violence merit nothing but rejection and distain. They belong behind bars and their business of death must be undermined and destroyed.
I appeal to anyone who can provide information about this sickening underworld to have the courage and the decency to come forward in the interest of all. I appeal to civil and community leaders to show a united and uncompromising response. I urge people to approach the Gardaí either directly or indirectly to provide any information which can help remove this malignance from our streets.
Where it can be ascertained that individuals hold direct responsibility in this traffic in evil they will no longer be allowed to exploit religious services in the Archdiocese of Dublin to enhance their image."
Speaking on RTE Radio One's 'Morning Ireland' programme today, Archbishop Diarmuid explained that there had been an increase in demand for ostentatious 'show funerals' used to demonstrate the wealth of certain individuals - wealth likely to have acquired through dealing in drugs. In future he said priests may refuse to provide such funerals for Dublin's criminal gangs.
Archbishop Diarmuid said the Church would continue to conduct 'normal' services but priests must use their 'pastoral tact' to refuse demands they deem to be inappropriate for the Mass.
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