Second Skoda car used by Pope Francis donated to Foyle Search and Rescue in Derry

The Skoda car used to transport Pope Francis in Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA.
By Greg Murphy

One of the cars used by Pope Francis during his trip to Ireland is to be donated to help homeless families.

The Skoda Rapid will be given to the social care agency of the Catholic church in Dublin, Crosscare, a statement on behalf of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said.

The second car, also a Skoda, will be donated to the Derry-based volunteer charity, Foyle Search and Rescue at the recommendation of Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Foyle Search and Rescue was set up in 1993 by local people in Derry in response to the high number of drownings in the River Foyle.

The service now includes suicide prevention and supporting families in the city.

Stephen Twells, chairman of Foyle Search and Rescue, said he was "speechless when I heard the good news".

"Foyle Search volunteers are very honoured and most appreciative to be the recipients of this very kind gift.

"Pope Francis’ car will provide a morale boost to our volunteers at this time, during what has been a very tough year for all of us in the city."

Welcoming the donation, Archbishop Martin said, “I am most appreciative to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for this generosity regarding this gift of a car used by Pope Francis during his wonderful visit to our country.

"This Skoda ‘Rapid’ will be of great practical help to the volunteers of Foyle Search and Rescue as they undertake their brave and vital life-saving work.”

The car will be donated shortly, but will not possess its current number plate ‘SCV 1’ which represents the designation Stato della Citta del Vaticano, or ‘Vatican City’.

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