Bishop James McGuinness of Nottingham failed this week in an attempt to persuade the local city council to unlock some lavatories on a site which had been occupied by a group of gypsies.
The gypsies had taken over the site illegally and Bishop McGuinness said that he did not condone that. But he said that in his view the least that the council could have done would have been to provide proper lavatories. "To refuse seemed a very inhuman thing to do," he said.
He emphasised that his prime concern had been for the gypsies' "spiritual and pastoral needs". "They are mainly very good, fine people and we had a very good congregation at two Masses we had there," Bishop McGuinness said. He had visited them on several occasions, as had some nuns who were concerned with the children's education.