Yesterday Father Frank Purcell, the parish priest of St. John’s parish in Kilkenny for where the mosque is proposed, took to the national media without telling anybody and read out the many opponents of the mosque in Kilkenny in the “Mail on Sunday” Irish edition.
Today 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.
Eugene McGuinness Chairman Kilkenny Community Network.