Presentation Senior School teacher, Claire Dorr, launched an appeal for items to be sent to refugees who are making their way to Europe from Syria.  The school hall in Mullingar was full by Friday afternoon with donations from people throughout the parish.

The Cathedral promoted the refugees appeal during the weekday Masses this week. Parishioners brought a wide range of items to the Cathedral to be transported to the continent as part of the school appeal.  These included clothing for young children, torches, sleeping bags and toiletries.

Fr Padraig McMahon, Cathedral Administrator and Chairman of Presentation Senior Board of Management, thanked Ms Dorr and all who supported the appeal.  “We cannot be blind to the plight of people who are in need”, he said.  “Our Christian faith compels us to respond in practical ways to people who suffer.  The school pupils showed great enthusiasm for the appeal and I want to thank everyone for their help.”

If other parishes or schools are undertaking similar initiatives in response to the refugees crisis, let us know and send an email to

Last week, Bishop Smith responded to media queries with the following statement:

A number of parishes contacted me in recent days, willing to play their part in any possible way in responding to the refugee crisis. We are ready to help.  We have long been aware, for instance, that Christians have been forced to flee their homes in vast numbers from Syria and many of them are seeking safety of their families and freedom to practice their Christian faith in Europe.

The Government will take the lead, in consultation with the European partners, in drawing up plans to accommodate refugees throughout the country.  We will help to facilitate this process and we will work with the Statutory agencies and other voluntary organisations in this regard.

The current crisis requires not only an instant response but also a well-considered and comprehensive strategy.   We are in regular contact with Trocaire and other Church agencies in Europe who are already responding directly to the needs of refugees on the ground.  We have 5 priests from Eastern Europe staying with us in parishes this summer and their insights are helpful to us.  Prayers have been offered in many parishes for those fleeing war and persecution.  The solidarity and generosity being expressed by people in our communities is encouraging and it is in keeping with the concern that Irish people always show in the face of humanitarian crises.