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Priest leaves parish over gay porn controversy

Father Martin McVeigh, who was the centre of a media storm last month, leaves his parish protesting his innocence
Father Martin McVeigh, who was the centre of a media storm last month, leaves his parish protesting his innocence.
Photo by BBC.

The Irish priest who ‘inadvertently’ projected images of gay pornography during a school meeting has asked to leave his parish.

Father Martin McVeigh of St. Mary's School in Pomeroy was the centre of a media storm last month after he had shown the hardcore pictures during a PowerPoint presentation at the school.

Parents said he fled the room after 16 pictures of gay porn had been shown, and some called for his resignation.

In a statement made today (29 April), McVeigh apologised ‘for the hurt caused’ and his ‘failure to check his presentation in advance.’

However, he said: ‘I was not responsible for the presence of the offending images and in this respect I ask you to accept my innocence.’

The priest confirmed he had destroyed the memory stick that contained the images prior to an investigation made by the church.

He said: ‘After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop. 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.’

McVeigh described the past month as ‘the most difficult’ of his life and said he was taking sabbatical leave.

He added: ‘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.

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

Cardinal Brady accepted McVeigh’s leave, and said he believed the priest had no prior knowledge of the material on the memory stick.

Brady issued an update on the continuing investigation, saying McVeigh’s laptop had been forensically examined and no inappropriate imagery had been found.  

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