The Bishop of Elphin, Dr. Kevin Doran, has spoken about the viable options that the diocese has at its disposal to take and house refugees who are flooding into Europe in their thousands.
He was responding to a call from the Vatican for parishes throughout Europe to take in and house those displaced by the war in Syria.
Doran spoke of how Elphin and Sligo, through his predecessor Bishop Dominic Conway, took in migrants from Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1970s and ‘80s following the end of the Vietnam War.
“I know the building that he (Bishop Conway) housed them (the Vietnamese) in is actually in the backyard of my house. Unfortunately it has not worn well. It is not a suitable location at the moment,” the bishop said.
Despite this, he is adamant there are alternative, suitable accommodations throughout the parishes of Elphin.
“Some of our parishes have spare houses arising from the fact that in parishes there used to be two priests and now there is only one. That is just one possibility,” Doran said.
“As well as that I am also looking at where in some parishes there may be an elderly relative who may have passed away which would leave a granny flat or a house next door that is not being used.”
The bishop feels that it is an issue which transcends religion or denomination.
“It is a human issue and it is the family of humanity. I think in that respect I would hope that Ireland has moved on and we can live next door to people and have people in our community while respecting one another’s differences,” he commented.