By Charles Igwe
The socio-political and economic development-oriented organization, Anya-Ndi-Igbo, has expressed condolences to the Holy Ghost Fathers Congregation and others over the passing of Very Rev Fr Michael Dermot Doran.
Father Doran, aged 88, passed away on May 19 in Dublin due to myelodysplastic syndromes, a rare form of blood cancer. He gained renown for his instrumental role in coordinating the Biafran airlift during the Nigerian Civil War, which allowed private citizens to respond to the crisis.
In a condolence letter addressed to the Holy Ghost Fathers Congregation and signed by Uma Eleazu, the chairman of the board of trustees; Chris Okoye, the president; and Okey Nwadinobi, the secretary, Anya-Ndi-Igbo described Father Doran as a brother-in-need.
The organization highlighted how Father Doran embraced the people of the Igbo country in Nigeria, where he was posted for missionary work in 1961 after his Priestly Ordination. Despite being Irish by birth, he considered all humans as kith and kin, living out the motto of the Holy Ghost Fathers Congregation, “One heart and one spirit.”
Through his pastoral work, Father Dermot brought hope to the poor, comforted the brokenhearted, and worked tirelessly to bring freedom and light to the people of Igboland from 1961 to 1970.
The letter also acknowledged Father Doran’s ecumenical efforts, where he collaborated with various Christian and Jewish groups to mobilize resources and provide food and medicine to the blockaded region of Biafra during the civil war. His dedication to this humanitarian cause was praised as a fantastic example of ecumenism.
Anya-Ndi-Igbo expressed gratitude to all individuals and organizations involved in bringing relief to the Igbo people during their time of adversity. They prayed for the peaceful repose of Father Michael Dermot Doran’s soul and wished blessings upon all those who had contributed to helping the people of Biafra.