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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 6, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 14
Irish priest shares Gay porn with parochial school parents
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Irish priest shares Gay porn with parochial school parents

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

When Fr. Martin McVeigh set up a Powerpoint presentation for the parents of St. Mary's School in the little town of Pomeroy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, he had no idea that anything out of the ordinary was going to happen.

McVeigh had been asked to help prepare the parents for their children's First Communion, which typically occurs when Catholic children are 7 years old. It is traditionally an important and festive occasion for Catholic families.

McVeigh plugged in a flashstick and - instead of the intended presentation on the sacrament of communion - projected what were later delicately described as 16 'indecent images' of men on the screen.

Upon realizing his error, McVeigh quickly pulled out the flashstick and fled the room, leaving school officials to complete the briefing.

'The meeting continued in his absence,' parents told BBC News, 'however, the parents who viewed the pictures were horrified and distracted.

'Twenty minutes later he returned, he continued with the meeting, and wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the church.'

'There were plenty of shocked faces,' one parent at the meeting told the Ulster Herald. 'There's a lot of parents very angry about it.'

Other church officials used the flashstick as well, McVeigh told the Herald, and he wanted an investigation to be carried out 'so that what happened can be legitimately explained.'

The matter was then referred to Cardinal Sean Brady, the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

On March 30 Brady issued a formal statement saying that 'inappropriate imagery was inadvertently shown by a priest at the beginning of a Powerpoint presentation, causing concern to those present.'

'The priest has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery.' Brady continued. 'The priest is co-operating with an investigation of the matter on the part of the archdiocese.'

Parishioners planned a protest outside St. Mary's on March 29, but the demonstration was called off when they learned that McVeigh would not be present at Mass that day.

In a statement, parents questioned why the priest was not suspended by the archdiocese pending its investigation.

Northern Ireland police investigators called in by the cardinal reported they found that no crimes had been committed.

'The incident has been reported to us,' a police spokesperson told CNN. 'We have advised that no criminal offences have been disclosed at this time, and anything else is a matter for the CCMS [Council for Catholic Maintained Schools] or the diocese.'

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