Priest to raise treatment of Travellers by settled community at Carrickmines fire victims' removal

The parish priest of the Connors family, five of whom perished in the Carrickmines fire, will raise the matter of prejudice against Travellers at their removal.

Priest to raise treatment of Travellers by settled community at Carrickmines fire victims' removal

The parish priest of the Connors family, five of whom perished in the Carrickmines fire, will raise the matter of prejudice against Travellers at their removal.

Fr Dermot Lane says the tragedy has raised serious questions about our priorities as a society.

The removal takes place this evening of Thomas and Sylvia Connors and three of their children; Jim, Christy and baby Mary.

Fr Dermot Lane, parish priest of Ballally, where all five Connors children were baptised, will deliver a homily in which he describes the nightmare that has beset the entire Traveller community.

He also raises deeper issues, saying we as a society have questions to answer about the provision of adequate housing for Travellers and about the persistent reality of social inequality between the Traveller and the Settled community.

He says that successive Governments going back to the 60s have failed to respond to issues concerning the Travelling community, and he calls for greater dialogue.

While he said he did not want to engage in a blame game, Fr Lane said: "Many of us in the settled community have failed to walk with empathy in the shoes of those in the Traveller Community".

The funeral for the Connors family will be held tomorrow morning in Ballaly.

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