May 2015
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Pastoral Statement On Upcoming Referenda


His Grace, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly.

Marriage Referendum

A series of opinion polls published today indicate that while the ‘Yes’ side appear to be leading in the ‘Marriage Referendum” campaign, these polls also suggest a narrowing of the gap on the ‘No’ side within recent weeks; with more and more voters indicating that they are either truly undecided or are fully committed to voting ‘No’.

Eligibility for Election to the Office of President of Ireland Referendum

With regard to the Referendum on the eligibility for election to the office of President from 35 years to 21 years, recent polls taken appear to indicate an expected ‘No’ result.
Note: Both Referenda will take place on Friday 22nd May 2015.

Today, across a number of Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdiocese (Archdiocese – Cashel & Emly, Dublin together with Dioceses – Galway, Killala, and Elphin), letters were being read out at Masses in which bishops are arguing against the proposed change to the definition of marriage in the constitution.

Here in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emily, His Grace Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly has stated that while there is no desire on his part or that of other bishops to alienate or denigrate any one person or group within Irish society, many within the church believes that marriage between a male and female is an institution that is fundamental to human life and the overall well being of society.

In his letter His Grace, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly states:-
“I write this letter – my first as bishop of the archdiocese of Cashel and Emly – at a moment of singular importance for our country. In a few days those eligible to vote will have the opportunity to express their preferences in two referendums on Marriage and the age for Presidential Candidates.

Earlier this year the Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral statement titled “The Meaning of Marriage“. As in all modern societies there are varying and different opinions about every important issue. Ireland is no different. However, to change a fundamental article of our constitution is a serious and significant event. For that reason we have urged that all people reflect carefully on how they vote.

Marriage, as understood by the great religious traditions of the world, is that of the union between a man and a woman. This is enshrined I believe in the natural order. As Catholics our understanding of marriage is taken from human experience but also from the Word of God as revealed in the Bible and the tradition of the Church.

There is no desire, on my part or that of the bishops, to alienate or denigrate any person or group of persons in our society. We uphold the dignity of each person. And we also hold faithfully to what we have received. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is an institution that is fundamental to human life and the well-being of society.

This referendum on marriage is an opportunity for every person to reflect and perhaps to rediscover the richness and uniqueness of marriage based on the union of a man and a woman created to complement each other. It is an opportunity for catholic married couples to strengthen their witness to a life based on the sacrament of marriage. In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we read that from the beginning, God created human beings in His own image – ‘male and female’ – and commissioned them to ‘be fruitful’.  Marriage is willed by God, and instituted and sanctified by God to be the way in which God’s work of creation continues in the world. The gift of life, which flows from the intimate union of a man and woman in marriage, is a gift from God Himself.

Pope Francis reminded us that marriage is a ‘noble vocation’ and he urged all of us to care for the ‘covenant’ of marriage between man and woman.

Should this amendment be passed it will be difficult to speak about marriage as it has been traditionally understood. This proposal, if it is incorporated into Art. 41 of the Constitution will introduce a profound change to our understanding of marriage, of the family and of parenthood. That is why it is important to reflect very carefully on what is the best response to the proposal of the referendum.

The referendum will be held just a few days before the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost. I ask those who are concerned about our country and the importance of her institutions to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the people discern how they will vote.

The second Referendum – to reduce the age at which candidates are eligible for election to the office of President from 35 to 21 also merits careful consideration.

Our young people are our future. They are the generation that we look to for energy, initiative and ideas for our country. Young people contribute much to our society many are particularly concerned for the less well-off and for the care of the created world. They are called on to make important decisions from early on in their lives and show themselves very capable in many areas. They are an invaluable part of our society.

On 22nd May, I urge all those with the right to vote to exercise it. Both Referenda are important and I urge you to participate fully in the democratic process. Our right to vote in a constitutional referendum is at the heart of democracy and a right that we should cherish, guard and exercise.

May the Holy Spirit guide each one of us as we come to a decision on what way to vote”.

Prayer for Married Couples 

“We thank you, O God, for the love you have implanted in our hearts.
May it inspire us to be kind in our words and actions, considerate of feelings and concerned with each other’s feelings and wishes.
Help us to be understanding and forgiving of human weakness and failings.
Bless our marriage, O God, with peace and happiness and make our love fruitful for your glory and our joy both here and in eternity.”   (The Family Prayer Book)

Signed: Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, (May 2015).

Tipperary Man Charged With IRA Membership

GardaThree men, named as Mr Seamus McGrane (aged 59), Mr Donal Ó Coisdealbha (aged 23) and Mr Dylan Cahill (aged 22), have been remanded in custody, having appeared before a Saturday sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court yesterday.

All three men, together with other serious charges, were accused of holding membership of an unlawful organisation.

One of the above named, Mr Dylan Cahill, with an address at 102 Lower Irishtown, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, was charged with the membership of an unlawful organisation, latter styling itself the Irish Republican Army (IRA), otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann.

Mr Cahill was also charged with possession of an .380 semi-automatic pistol, together with four rounds of ammunition and two improvised explosive devices, commonly referred to as ‘pipe bombs’, at Sradrine, Glenfarne, Co Leitrim, on  May 15th last.

Mr Justice Paul Butler, Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Flann Brennan, all presiding at the non-jury court, were informed by Detective Garda Mark Benson that he had arrested Mr Cahill at Cluneen, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim on Friday May 15th last and that the arrested man had made no reply to the charges.

Discussing bail arrangements for the three men before the court, arresting members of the Gardaí stated that they would not be available on Tuesday next, as they would be otherwise heavily engaged, due to the visit by Prince Charles and his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall), to Ireland.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects To Be Expanded

garda crestThe Department of Justice has announced an expansion of Garda Youth Diversion Projects to ten new locations around Ireland and will include Nenagh, here in north Co. Tipperary. Half of the new locations named are in Co. Dublin, with two in Kildare and one each in Limerick, Cork and Tipperary .

Garda Youth Diversion Projects are all community based and are targeted to support youth development projects which seek to divert young people away from becoming either involved, or indeed further involved, in anti-social and criminal conduct.

Some €2.8m is to be now allocated from the existing ‘Dormant Accounts Disbursement Scheme’ and 16 additional workers nationally will now be appointed to expand on already existing projects.

The new funding announced today will further support An Garda Síochána in their continuing proactive efforts to work closely with young people; while the funding released will enhance a range of social inclusion measures available to support young people, latter coming to the attention of An Garda Síochána, particularly in areas of economic and social disadvantage, thus deterring young people from involving themselves in criminal activities.

Cannabis Plants & Herb Located In New Inn, Co. Tipperary

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa

Three men have been arrested following a drug seizure at a cannabis ‘grow house’  here in Co Tipperary, where over a thousand plants of various maturities were found by officers, during a legal search.

The three men, one in his 40’s and two in their 50’s, were arrested following a seizure of both cannabis plants and cannabis herb, latter which is reported to have an estimated street value of some €700,000.

Both substances were recovered during searches of two premises at Boytonrath, Boreen, Kileenasteena, New Inn. A cannabis ‘grow house’  was discovered in the first premises, while a ‘drying house’  was located in a second premises.

A single barrel shotgun was also discovered during the course of the search.

The three men are currently being held in Tipperary Town and Cahir, Garda stations, under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996.

The search was undertaken by members of the Drugs Detective units in Tipperary town and Clonmel and included members of the Regional Surveillance Unit, the Regional Support Unit plus the Cork ‘Sniffer Dog’  Unit.

These arrests are part of continuing investigations in Co. Tipperary, into the sale and supply of drugs.

‘Know Your Patch’ – New Tipperary Garda Initiative

Gardaí here in Co. Tipperary will launch a new community policing initiative to be known as Know Your Patchon Monday next (April 27th).  This launch follows on from the Tipperary Divisional Community Policing Seminar, which took place earlier in January of 2015.


Pictured Shows L – R: Chief Superintendent Catherine Kehoe, Garda Annette Connolly and Garda Chris Verling who are all leading with the implementation of new policing initiatives for Thurles Town.

Under this new and welcome initiative, Gardaí in the Tipperary Division will in future be assigned to a specific area in each District and will conduct a leaflet drop to all homes in these assigned community areas.  Same will identify to residents their individual Community Garda member. This assigned Garda member will then in future become the individual point of contact in this area and will be available to assist and engage with residents, should support, crime prevention advice or assistance with initiatives such as ‘Community Alert’, ‘Neighborhood Watch’ and ‘Text Alert’ be required.

Commenting on the launch of ‘Know Your Patch’, the Chief Superintendent of the Tipperary Garda Division Catherine Kehoe stated; “An Garda Síochána in the Tipperary Division recognise and very much appreciate the valuable support and assistance from communities given to An Garda Síochána. As part of our review of our service delivery, incorporated under our Policing Plan 2015, Gardaí in the Tipperary Division intend to further improve service delivery, bringing about greater community engagement and ensuring greater visibility in community areas. I am committed to ensuring that community policing remains a priority for the Tipperary Division and I am looking forward to working closely with the community of Tipperary on a number of initiatives, in order to bring about a greater feeling of overall safety.”

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