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People fell in love with this Roscommon woman's words to a Syrian refugee on TV3 last night

She’s back.
Nov 3rd 2017, 4:27 PM 17,132 2

ary Source: RTÉ Player

EARLIER THIS YEAR, RTÉ’s Prime Time visited the Roscommon town of Ballaghaderreen to see how the locals felt about the plan to locate Syrian refugees there.

A woman named Mary Gallagher touched so many people when she explained her view that, given the history of the Irish people, we had a duty to help refugees.

Last night, a new TV3 documentary visited Ballaghaderreen to see how people are settling in.

Once again, the crew found themselves in Mary’s haberdashery and once again people were so impressed with her compassionate words

The documentary, called Ireland’s Refugee Hotel: True Lives, followed 21-year-old Ghassan, who fled Syria leaving his parents behind. He’s now staying in the Abbeyfield Hotel with his grandmother, aunt and nieces.

At one point, Ghassan went into Mary’s shop to show her some of his grandmother’s knitting

ghassan Source: TV3

Mary and Ghassan began talking about his situation, and her empathy was on show for everyone to see again

ghassan2 Source: TV3

Mary began:

When I heard all about this upheaval and everything else, it’s terrible because down here in this part of the country, we had experiences similar to that many generation ago.
We had famine and we had people on coffin ships so we can share that sense of loss, that sense of separation, the sense of strangeness, all that kind of thing and if we don’t, well then we’re just – I don’t know what.

Holding Ghassan’s hands, she finished:

“If something doesn’t touch our hearts when all that happens in Syria, we are not human.”

losssep Source: TV3

People couldn’t help but admire Mary’s outlook on things

And loved how she spoke with such understanding

swee2 Source: @Carol_xox

Equally, Ghassan and his family were praised given the difficult situation they find themselves in

For the compassion and perspective alone, anyone who lives in Ballaghaderreen is lucky to have Mary and her shop on the main street in town.

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David Elkin


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