Sinn Fein councillor, Michael Gallagher, has slammed as, ‘inappropriate’. the use of a missalette by the parish priest of Kells, to publicise a statement from Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan condemning Sinn Fein leader, Mary Lou Mcdonald’s robust defence of the Provisional IRA ‘ campaign of death and destruction’ as chilling.
The missalette, published under the guidance of Fr John Byrne PP, was circulated in Kells parish last week, and was highlighted by Gallagher on his Facebook page.
The councillor told Meath Live, ‘Firstly I want to make it clear that Fr John is perfectly entitled to hold whatever political view he wishes, I’d never criticise anyone for having a different political opinion than me, it is the forum he used to get that view across that concerns me.
‘It is inappropriate, to say the least and while I accept he may well agree with what Charlie Flanagan said, there is a line you don’t cross in mixing the affairs of church and state.
‘Church and politics get on well by allowing each to play their own role and I genuinely don’t think they should be allowed cross into each others sphere of influence.
‘I understand one of my SF colleagues in Kells may have challenged Fr John about it and that the priest stood his ground and defended himself, I corresponded with him myself via email, and he had the decency to reply to be fair put his point across very well.
‘However I still feel that a parish news letter was the wrong place to print this, and you’d have to wonder was there nobody within the group of people who would have seen this prior to publication that would have queried whether it was right to go ahead with it or not.’
When Meath Live attempted to contact Fr Byrne a parish spokesman said ‘He is cocooning and will not be available for comment.’