Local priest praised for outspoken views

Glengormley priest, Fr Eugene O'Neill. Pic by Stephen Hamilton, Presseye

Glengormley priest, Fr Eugene O'Neill. Pic by Stephen Hamilton, Presseye

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THE views of a Catholic priest who said that his parishioners may be better off in the UK rather than the Irish Republic are reflected by the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland, one of the church’s leading commentators has said.

Speaking after an appearance on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Thought for the Day’, Glengormley cleric Fr Eugene O’Neill said that any priest of his age, 45, or below, found the debate about a united Ireland “literally irrelevant” and that the United Kingdom was now arguably a less repressive place for Catholics to practice their faith, than the Republic.

Father O’Neill - who is a priest in St Mary’s on the Hill parish - said that as an Irish passport-holder he saw the Queen and senior British government figures as defenders of faith in the UK.

Michael Kelly, Deputy Editor of The Irish Catholic, said that Fr O’Neill’s comments were “very brave” and that this was an important debate which he said had been going on quietly for some time.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...