An address of recognition will be hosted by Athlone-Moate Municipal District (AMMD ) to honour the Franciscan Friars who recently announced that they will be departing Athlone on January 6, 2023.
Raising the motion at the most recent sitting of AMMD, Cllr Frankie Keena availed of the opportunity to sincerely thank the Franciscan Order for their 800 years spiritual and caring service to the people of Athlone and surrounding areas.
“When the news was announced a number of weeks ago that the Franciscan Friars were to depart Athlone, our local community was in a state of shock and disbelief. The Friary has always been a place to go for those who have a special request and to light a candle. The spiritual and caring service provided by the Friars is excellent and now unfortunately this is coming to an end in January.
“After the announcement I was in touch with the Friars to see if anything could be done to help them reverse their decision and I spoke about the massive support from the wider community in this regard also.
“Unfortunately, I was told that the issue is age demographic related with over 70% of the Friars now over the age of 70 years,” Cllr Keena asserted.
Cllr Keena stated that the future of the Friary Church lies in the hands of the dioceses and an immediate decision on this is delayed because there is a wait on a Bishop to be appointed.
In delivering his motion, Cllr Keena noted the need to host an Address of Recognition to honour and thank the Franciscan Order for their service to Athlone over the 800 year period.
“This was unanimously agreed upon and the District Manager is now going to make the necessary arrangements. I also spoke with the Friars on this matter in advance of raising this motion and received positive response,” Cllr Keena concluded.