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Schull charity shop beneficiary ‘exonerated'

February 27th, 2019 11:55 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Rosmarie Isenschmid during her recent visit to India, where she works as a volunteer with Fr Raja's charity.

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SUPPORTERS of an Indian priest with links to Schull who had come under suspicion, claim he has been exonerated.

Rosmarie Isenschmid, who had been running a charity shop to support Fr Raja’s work in India before it closed for good in January 2017, has just returned from the region and she said: ‘The controversy has been dealt with by the church.’

She said Fr Raja – who had been held in custody in India for questioning regarding an incident involving his bishop – is no longer under suspicion.

She said: ‘Other parties are being dealt with in Rome following the resignation of an Indian bishop accused of having a secret family.’

Rosmarie explained that the organisation in Schull ‘couldn’t continue with the shop because we didn’t have enough helpers, but family, friends and a few remaining volunteers continue to give donations to the charity.’

She explained the origins of the shop, saying: ‘Fr Raja came to Schull with an Irish friend and a group of local people agreed to help him by collecting food, clothes, furniture, beds, mattresses, toys and other household items.’

For the first two years, these goods were sent by container and transported by the Irish Navy. However, about 16 years ago, they decided to set up a charity shop in the Main Street of Schull.

Since then, they have helped with the purchase of land for an orphanage that Fr Raja established. 

They also contributed to the cost of turning the fields around the orphanage into a vegetable garden and rice field.

Money was also provided to buy three water pumps, to bore two wells, install solar panels, and to cover the costs of education, medication and nutrition to the 100-plus children attending the shelter.

‘We are proud of our achievement,’ Rosmarie told The Southern Star. ‘It’s just unfortunate that the shop had to close.

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