Senator Rónán Mullen, Fr Tony O'Riordan S.J. and Comdt. Frank Hearns. KC*HS.

On 6 February 2023, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria, leaving over 50,000 dead and plunged many more people into homelessness, hunger, cold and fear as people struggled to survive in sub-zero temperatures.

Among the people most affected was the population of Aleppo, which had suffered so much in recent years from the civil war; including many thousands of refugees from Iraq, who had fled from ISIS atrocities in their homeland.

On Thursday 20th April 2023 Senator Rónán Mullen, a member of the Irish Seanad, organised a ‘Breakfast for Syria‘ to highlight the plight of those affected by the recent earthquake and invited Fr Tony O’Riordan, a Cork-born Jesuit and Syria Country Director for the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) to speak to an invited audience, which included Lieutenant H.E. Peter Durnin, members and postulants of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – Lieutenancy of Ireland.

In attendance was retired Army Commandant Frank Hearns, KC*HS who in 2017 raised over €100,000 in donations from members of the Lieutenancy of Ireland, arising from his pilgrimage cycle from Dublin to Rome, which was sent to the Franciscan friars and the Carmelite sisters of Aleppo.

Fr. Tony thanked the large attendance for their generous response to his appeal for support for the people of Aleppo.

If you wish to donate online to this good cause, please use this link instead:

Photo: Senator Rónán Mullen, Fr Tony O’Riordan S.J. and Comdt. Frank Hearns. KC*HS.