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2013 - Busiest year for Vincent de Paul in Mullingar

Friday, 6th December, 2013 3:42pm
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2013 - Busiest year for Vincent de Paul in Mullingar

Members of St Vincent de Paul, Mullngar, from left: Ann Barry, John Burke and Paddy Casey. The organisation is holding its annual door to door collection this weekend.

2013 - Busiest year for Vincent de Paul in Mullingar

Members of St Vincent de Paul, Mullngar, from left: Ann Barry, John Burke and Paddy Casey. The organisation is holding its annual door to door collection this weekend.

There are signs that we have seen the worst of the recession, but for the members of the Mullingar branch of St Vincent de Paul, 2013 will go down as their busiest year yet.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner ahead of the annual house to house collection, this Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, Mullingar area president John Burke said there are thousands of local people living in poverty.

“We have had more claims than ever this year, particularly from the new poor. People are caught with paying a mortgage and working and then something unexpected comes up, something breaking down or someone getting sick, and that’s when they might come to us.

“It’s people with growing families, and their parents might not have money for new shoes – simple things like that. You can’t wait until you have money.

“There is no fat any more and in good times you would have friends and family who would have money. Now nobody seems to have it. A lot of people depended on their parents, but maybe their parents gave them the deposit for their house or are guarantors for their house, and they are worried their son or daughter mightn’t be able to keep up their mortgage payments.”

This weekend’s house to house collections, in addition to monthly church gate collections, provide St Vincent de Paul with the bulk of its finances. While the funds collected have been “leaner” in recent years, John says Mullingar is among the most generous towns in the country.

“I know from attending regional meetings how other towns are fixed and I know we do better and Mullingar would look after its people better.”

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