Fr Roy O'Neill MSC has sent a text of Bishop Eugene Hurley for the festival.  He was unable to attend and asked Roy to read his message.  Our last report stated that 200 attended. It was a larger attendance, around 400.

On the jetty

We gather this evening to recognise a profound truth, namely that a young 23 year old Iranian man has died.

In itself this is tragic, as is any loss of young life. This gathering is to recognise this tragedy, but also to contemplate the reality that it need not have happened. This is surely tragedy upon tragedy.

This man was seeking asylum in this country, as I understand he has a perfect right to do. He was subsequently detained and transferred to Manus Island on the ground that we abdicated our responsibility to hear his plea.

Whatever has occurred on the fateful night on which he lost his life, we cannot carelessly unload the responsibility on to someone else.

As I understand it, this young man became our responsibility when he sought to have his claim for asylum heard here.

Enquiries will nominate someone or some group for us to blame, but in truth we need to accept that the present policies generate untenable circumstances wherein it is nigh on inevitable that tragedy will occur.

Let us mourn the death of this young man and pray for him and his grieving family. Let us also search our own hearts lest we find that by doing little about justice, we may become complicit.

Thanks to Roy O'Neill for Bishop Hurley's text and the photo.