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Monday, 7th October 2019

Bishop repeats offer to mediate in Drogheda gang feud

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The Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Michael Router.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Michael Router, has repeated his offer to act as a mediator in the feud between drug dealing criminal gangs in Drogheda.

He made the offer during a homily he delivered at St. Peter’s Church in Drogheda yesterday which was the international ‘Day for Life’ in the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.

Recalling the brutal murder of Keith Branigan in Clogherhead on 27 August last, Bishop Router repeated a call he made three weeks ago for an end to the violence and asked those involved to stand back and consider the futility of their actions. 

“Seeking revenge for that terrible murder risks the lives of others.  It was very fortunate that innocent bystanders were not injured or even killed in Clogherhead such was the disregard for life that was shown. 

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“I want to restate that appeal today and to say that I, or indeed any priest or religious in this area, would be willing to mediate between the different factions if that would assist to bring the feud to a halt. 

“All of us have an obligation to help tackle the drugs problem which in turn is at the heart of so much of the criminal activity and contempt for life that is damaging our society.

The main theme for the ‘Day for Life’ was the ‘The Scourge of Domestic Abuse’ against women and children which, the Bishop said, remains as a very serious problem in our contemporary society and is a hidden form of toxic behaviour in some families throughout the world. 

“In recent years we have experienced a number of terrible cases of domestic abuse in our own country leading to extreme violence and murder.  Such awful events remind us of what can happen if subtle abuse and manipulation of a spouse is allowed to fester and grow into something sinister and threatening.

The latest figures outlined in the bishops’ pastoral letter, The Scourge of Domestic Abuse, indicate that one-in-four women and about one-in-six men suffer from domestic abuse during their lifetime. 

“According to a 2018 report by Women’s Aid, almost nine out of every ten women murdered in Ireland were killed by a man known to them.  Women’s Aid has stated that the dangerous patterns present in abusive relationships are often not taken seriously by others, and this can put a woman at risk of serious assault or homicide. 

“Within or without families, violence of any kind should never be tolerated or justified.  It is an offence against the dignity of the human person.”

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