Updated 03/17/2013 05:47 PM
Irish Prime Minister Attends St. Patrick's Day Mass In Breezy Point
A St Patrick's Day mass spread some Irish cheer for Breezy Point parishioners dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as Ireland's prime minister joined Queens residents at St. Thomas More Church. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.
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It's a special day for Irish residents of Breezy Point, not just because it's St. Patrick's Day, or that they're meeting the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland.
For many, the mass at St. Thomas More Church is the first time they've been reunited since Hurricane Sandy.
One woman NY1 spoke with still tears up when talking about her sister's hardships.
"She still is not back home," said churchgoer Eileen O'Brien. "It's six months, and her house, the foundation of the house, was destroyed."
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the Diocese of Brooklyn, said that following Sandy, the Irish government assisted in the recovery effort by sending volunteers to this area.
"We have many, many Irish live here, and the Irish government was very generous in helping and also sending volunteers," DiMarzio said. "So we're happy to be able to say thank you today."
There were plenty of smiles, hugs, and high fives for Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
"When something like this happens, it's amazing, the extent of assistance and cooperation and community," Kenny said. "That's the heart and soul of everybody. So Breezy is fighting back. Breezy will be better than ever."
"I'm very happy to see everyone who supported and helped us here today," said Jack Sullivan, a former Breezy Point resident who said Hurricane Sandy destroyed his home. It's going to be knocked down this week.
"It's really hard," he said. "I moved to Long Island. Going to a new school."
Jack said he just wants things to go back to normal.
"After the storm, you really don't see everyone," he said. "You see them once in a while, but you really don't see them unless you're in Breezy.
Despite the fact that many of the parishioners here are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, they said that they left Sunday's celebration feeling uplifted. They said that one thing is for sure: Breezy Point will make a comeback.