The Parishioners have complained to the Kilkenny Journal saying that they are going to petition the new Bishop of Ossory, Dermot Farrell, to remove this insulting priest from their midst.
This storm blew up out of the blue. Purcell told nobody that he was going to the papers. he never gave his parishioners an inkling that he was going to castigate and denounce them in a mass circulation Sunday newspaper that circulates all over Ireland and the UK.
There was no consultation whatsoever, not even with his own local diocesan authorities. Fr. Purcell’s inflammatory statements came right out of the blue, taking the hierarchy unawares and sowing seeds of bitter discontent in the local catholic community.
There was also talk of large bottles of Scotch being bought in for the St. John’s priests’ house every evening from the local Dunnes Stores and some well meaning people attributed the priest’s outburst to the newspaper to that, unable to process the treason.
Whatever, it is felt that Fr. Purcell deserves a rest. People are still shattered from his outburst. And in fact they are never racists but 1,300 local parishioners who signed an objection to a proposed mosque for their estates based on traffic problems mostly.
And though Fr. Purcell forces religion into the issue, declaring that Jesus supports the mosque, none of the objectors have ever said anything about religion at all. Nobody has breathed a word about race either – except Fr. Purcell himself.
The acknowledged leader of the campaign against the construction of the mosque on the site that it is proposed for, Eugene McGuinness (younger brother of Deputy John McGuinness), made the following reply to Father Purcell’s admonitions via the Sunday media.
“It is indeed sad when you see that once again the race card is been raised, by none other than the Parish Priest of St. Johns Parish in his comments relating to our legitimate objections to a development on the Hebron Road.
“Sad because when you read his comments it is apparent the good Father hasn’t even done us the courtesy of reading our objections and as such, has little understanding of the difficulties facing these communities day after day, week after week.
“For a Parish Priest who doesn’t understand or hasn’t listened to the concerns of his own Community speaks volumes, a sad day for religion and maybe another indication why church numbers are dropping so dramatically year on year.
“Had Father Purcell read our submissions he would have seen that religion was never mentioned, nor should it be, as it is not a legitimate reason for objection. We have said time and time again that we believe the Islamic Community are entitled to their mosque, but it must conform to all planning regulations, as would any development.
“It is because of the traffic/parking issues on the Hebron road/Bishop Birch Place that we believe this site to be totally unsuitable. Our concerns are legitimate, well researched and lodged as part of the planning process.
“It is in fact the Iman, Ebrahima Ndure who raises the race card time and time again in an effort to sway public opinion but it’s a fight we are not involved with and wont get drawn into.
“A High Court Appeal would not be a Christian Act” Fr. Frank Purcell tells us, but it would seem that allowing Kilkenny County Council to trap people in their own homes, as a result of bad planning for hours with no access to the emergency services, is?
Should that emergency become critical and a priest is called, would Fr. Purcell consider it to be unchristian for Kilkenny County Council to deny or hinder access for a priest to administer the “Lasts Rites” because of bad planning?
“Are you seriously suggesting that we drop our objection because “Rome’s Law” takes precedent over Irish Law! It would seem that, just like the last referendum, we like all the yes voters, will have to rush to the confessionary to ask for forgiveness for defending our own communities.
“Unfortunately Father “Rome’s Law” has not served us well and needs to get its own house in order before pointing the “less powerful” accusing finger.
“We who are living the traffic nightmare will peruse all legitimate methods to get our message across and you should apologise unreservedly for suggesting that there is anything racist or unchristian in that endeavour.
Father Frank Purcell, St. John’s, Kilkenny city, pictured here on the right.
Carlow-Kilkenny Sinn Fein TD sent councillors Kennedy and Tyrrell to the Kilkenny Islamic Centre to assure the Imam of the full support of the local Sinn Fein party for the new mosque scheduled for St. John’s Parish.
Like Malcolm Noonan, Sinn Fein has brushed aside forty paid objections from the residents including Brian Murphy, Chairman of the O’Loughlin GAA Club, and a couple of thousand of signed petitions against, as the work of malcontents, haters, racists and the far right.
However that is not the case at all. The objectors are all long time respected residents of the estates surrounding the site of the mosque – all the people of Assumption Place, O’Loughlin Road, Ossory Park, Bishop Birch, Hebron Road, Millennium Court, Lakeside stretching over into Newpark.
Cllr. Sean Tyrrell SF , Imams, Cllr. David Kennedy SF in support of the proposed Kilkenny Mosque at Hebron Industrial Estate, Kilkenny city.
Source: Kilkenny Journal