Irishman is Pope’s new rep in Haiti

The Irishman tapped to be the Pope’s new representative to Haiti has said he will bring a message of hope to the country still struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake.

Clare-born Archbishop Eugene Nugent, who is currently Apostolic Nuncio in Madagascar, told The Irish Catholic his mission from the Pontiff is primarily about bringing “a message of hope to a Church and a people that has been traumatised by the earthquake of 2010 and that was already sorely tried by the political situation”.

He said it was by “a happy coincidence” that his appointment was announced when an international conference was being held in Rome to assess Haiti’s reconstruction over the last five years and to plan ahead.

Archbishop Nugent (56) told The Irish Catholic it will be difficult to leave the “beautiful part of the world” that has been his home for the last five years and that he will miss the kindness, warmth and faith of Madagascar’s people. He expects to reach Haiti around March 10.