Working in the margins — Eddie Gilmore and the Irish Chaplaincy

Working in the margins — Eddie Gilmore and the Irish Chaplaincy

Eddie Gilmore of the Irish Chaplaincy has spent a lifetime meeting, helping and thinking about marginalised communities across the world. His book The Universe Provides brings together his thoughts, on these experiences. MARY TILKI investigates

Ambassador Martin Fraser and author Eddie Gilmore

Eddie Gilmore’s second book The Universe Provides is a beautifully written, warm, funny and empathic account of his work, personal and spiritual life, and his encounters with people from all walks of life, especially at one of the most difficult periods of recent times.

Eddie highlights the lifeline Irish Chaplaincy provides for some of the most marginalised people in society such as prisoners, Travellers and isolated seniors and draws upon his wide experience of disability organisations and his own faith. He chronicles the devastating effects of the pandemic on those who were the most vulnerable and isolated. While not denying the difficulties imposed by the virus and the fear of a then unknown pathogen, he highlights the community spirit, the creativity and innovation the restrictions generated. He cites a number of the beneficiaries of electronic Tablets and smartphones, who in a million years would never have imagined participating remotely in Mass from their home parish or being able to join the celebration of a sibling birthday in Ireland.

Eddie takes us on rambles and pilgrimages in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Korea, meeting and sharing food and music with people of all different cultures and backgrounds. What comes through very clearly is that we have much more in common than the differences which separate us. We can also see opportunities for beauty, peace and hope in the everyday as well as the unusual. I found the book joyous, thought-provoking and optimistic and will return to various chapters when I’m in need of inspiration.

More information on the book: book

About Mary Tilki

A native of Sligo, Mary Tilki has been a prominent member of the Irish community in London, where she was Chair of Irish in Britain, as well as a trustee of Irish Chaplaincy. She has a particular interest in ethnic health inequalities, especially those affecting the Irish community in Britain, Travellers and other marginalised groups. She is co–founder of Cuimhne, the Irish Memory Loss Alliance.