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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 4, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 18
Porn priest quits parish
Section One
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Porn priest quits parish

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Irish priest who accidentally showed Gay porn to a group of parochial school parents expecting a presentation on their children's First Communion has asked to be put on leave.

Fr. Martin McVeigh intended to do a Powerpoint presentation for the parents of St. Mary's School in the little town of Pomeroy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. McVeigh plugged in a flashstick, but instead of the intended presentation on the sacrament of communion, images of 16 naked men appeared on the screen.

McVeigh quickly pulled out the flashstick and fled the room. Parents said they were 'horrified' by what they saw and called for action to be taken against the priest.

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

On March 30 Cardinal Brady issued a formal statement saying, '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. The priest is co-operating with an investigation of the matter on the part of the archdiocese.'

The incident was also investigated by Northern Ireland police, who concluded that no crime had been committed.

In a statement issued April 29, McVeigh asked to be put on administrative leave from his duties at St Mary's parish.

'In the hope of bringing resolution and healing to the division and pain within the parish, I have taken the decision to ask Cardinal Brady to allow me to leave the parish of Pomeroy and to take sabbatical leave,' he said.

'The memory of this awful episode will remain with me for the rest of my life.'

The priest apologized 'for the hurt caused' and 'his failure to check his presentation in advance,' but insisted he 'was not responsible for the presence of the offending images and in this respect I ask you to accept my innocence.'

McVeigh also revealed he had destroyed the flashstick that contained the images.

'After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop,' he said. 'In my shock and upset and in my concern to ensure that the images would never be shown again, I destroyed it later that evening.'

In a separate statement on April 29, Cardinal Brady said he accepted McVeigh's request to go on leave, but expected him to return to the parish eventually.

Brady added that he believed McVeigh's contention that he had no advance knowledge of the Gay porn. Other computers used by McVeigh had been 'forensically examined by an independent technical expert and no inappropriate imagery has been found,' the Cardinal said.

The Cardinal also apologized for the incident, saying it had been 'a traumatic time for the whole parish community and for Father McVeigh personally.'

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