Immigrants make a vital contribution to Ireland’s economy and culture, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Thursday as he celebrated a vigil mass to mark the country’s growing multiculturalism.
During his homily, the archbishop of Dublin called for protection of and vigorous prosecution of abuses against, vulnerable migrants, reported The Irish Examiner. He expressed his support for the suggestion by Church of Ireland Archbishop John Neill that immigrants who had been living in Ireland for five years should have the right to stay in the country.
He also called for a welcoming, transparent and enlightened national migration policy. He added that the education system had an important role to play in introducing Irish children to the new intercultural reality and discouraged the creation of ethnic ghettos. “Experience in other countries has shown how such situations can be exploited in a manner which brings benefit to no-one,” he said.
The Festival of Peoples mass was attended by people from the Lithuanian, Latvian, Romanian, Nigerian, Brazilian and Keralese Indian communities. It included prayers and readings in different languages, an international choir and an offertory procession of people in national costume.
The archbishop said the mass was meant to celebrate the contribution by immigrants to Ireland’s economy, society and culture, as well as these men and women’s talents, creativity, culture and traditions.