Broadcaster Charlie Bird has described Irish missionaries as “incredible, remarkable people” and said that Irish people would be as “proud” of them as he is if they had the opportunity to meet them.
Speaking at the launch of a DVD that he filmed in the Philippines and South Korea featuring missionaries and their work, Mr Bird said it was “an amazing experience and I met so many remarkable missionaries doing incredible work”.
He first witnessed the work of Irish missionaries first hand when he was sent to the Philippines over 30 years ago to cover the trial of the Negros Nine, when Irish Columban Fr Niall O Neill was amongst a group falsely accused of murder.
“In the 30 years since, as a reporter in RTĖ, in many places where I went I met remarkable missionary priests and nuns doing remarkable things, and they did it away from the glare of publicity, away from their families and their homes.”
The DVD was made for World Missions Ireland and will be shown in parishes across the country on Mission Sunday on October 18. The eight-minute film features among others Sr Evelyn Flanaganworking on a project with the Sea Gypsies and Sr Shay Cullen working with street children in the Philippines, and Fr Pat Cunningham protesting against the building of a military naval base in South Korea.
National Director of World Missions Ireland, Maurice Hogan SCC, said Irish people have a “long tradition of supporting missionaries abroad, for this we are very grateful, and we believe that our DVD will show them that their help is still very much needed and valued as it does bring the work of missionaries to life.”
World Missions Ireland is the official mission outreach of the Catholic Church in Ireland.For more information see www.wmi.ie