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Limerick youngsters help brick-laying missionary priest to build hope

Fr Martin McCormack accepting a cheque for �1,000 from Mairead McConnell and Edward McConnell, Oola and John Egan, Pallasgreen outside the Salesian Church in Milford. Also pictured Joan Ryan, Marian ODonnell, Eileen McCormack, Mae Grace, Margaret Ryan, Maureen McConnell, John ODriscoll, Colman ODriscoll, Eileen Egan and Brigid Crosse-ODriscoll

Fr Martin McCormack accepting a cheque for �1,000 from Mairead McConnell and Edward McConnell, Oola and John Egan, Pallasgreen outside the Salesian Church in Milford. Also pictured Joan Ryan, Marian ODonnell, Eileen McCormack, Mae Grace, Margaret Ryan, Maureen McConnell, John ODriscoll, Colman ODriscoll, Eileen Egan and Brigid Crosse-ODriscoll

 

KIND-HEARTED youngsters from East Limerick gave up part of their summer holidays to raise €1,000 for a missionary priest in South Africa.

Before he entered the Salesian Order, Fr Martin McCormack was a bricklayer.

His trade has been put to good use in South Africa as he has taken a hands on role in building schools, hospitals and helping young people in some of the most destitute parts of South Africa.

Brigid O’Driscoll, from the Pallasgreen/Templebraden Legion of Mary, said the boys and girls did bag picking in Tipperary Co-Op and SuperValu L&N.

“A group of young people from the Oola/Pallasgreen area on hearing of his plight in South Africa decided to enlist the help of some adults so that he could go back with some money to help him with his good works.

“A small contribution means so much to these people and the work that Fr McCormack does,” said Mrs O’Driscoll. On a trip home Fr McCormack travelled to the Salesian Church in Milford to meet the fundraisers and thank them.

“He thanked everyone who donated for his mission and he will be offering Masses for everybody’s intentions,” said Mrs O’Driscoll.

The €1,000 collected will be worth multiples of that amount in South Africa.

“I work closely and personally with those dying from aids related diseases. It’s a hands on job - washing, cleaning, praying for and sometimes burying the person. “Since February I’ve buried three children I was teaching in our school - all AIDS related deaths,” said Mr McCormack.

The priest said the money will go towards funding schooling for street children.

“Education is not free here. To go to primary school presently costs €150 to €300 depending on which classes. Secondary level costs upto €600,” said Fr McCormack, who recently published a book called Leadership.

 

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