Shared future won’t be built on tribal victories: Derry Bishop

The Bishop of Derry is urging NI politicians to think about ‘voter apathy’ - particularly among young people - post election.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 6th May 2022, 10:48 am

Dr Donal McKeown, speaking at Mass in St Eugene’s Cathedral, said that, in the wake of last week’s NI Assembly poll, he hoped “all our political parties can reflect not just on how many votes they got but also on how many may have felt no interest in voting for anybody.”

The Bishop added: “In elections, we are all entitled to dream of choosing leaders who will inspire us and have high standards for themselves.

“Woolly promises of simplistic solutions or self-serving divisive slogans do nothing to help those who feel most burdened by life.

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Bishop Donal McKeown.

“A shared future will be built on the foundations of generous leadership, not tribal victories. Young people will be inspired to vote when their generous hearts are nourished. When they fail to vote, that says as much about a lack of inspiring leaders as it does about voter apathy.”

Staying with the political theme, Dr McKeown cautioned against the church existing “only [as] a religious institution that stands for certain ideas”

As a result, he said, “we offer only a philosophy or a political agenda.”

“That sort of religious body risks offering nothing but a battle over teaching and laws,” he added.