A DUNDALK man behind a new website that offers people help with defecting from the Catholic Church says the reaction to the idea has been 'overwhelmingly positive'.
Speaking from Paris, Cormac Flynn, who is originally from Mountpleasant, said the site - countmeout.ie - had received over 5,000 hits since it was established a month ago.
Cormac (29), a former Marist student, is a web developer in France and developed the site after trying to find out for himself how to leave the Catholic Church.
He said: 'A couple of months ago, a French friend was telling me about how he went about leaving the church. I thought about it myself, but it was the publication of the Ryan Report (into horrific child abuse in Catholic-run institutions) that tipped me over the edge'.
Cormac said he discovered there was no centralised information point for people like him who wanted to defect from the church so, with the help of colleagues – Paul Dunbar from Cork and Grainne O'Sullivan from Dublin – he established the site.
And thanks to the Sunday Times and 'God Delusion' author Prof Richard Dawkins, countmeout.ie has received huge publicity in the past few days.
Despite all the attention, Cormac said the reaction to the site has been very positive, with only a couple of messages denouncing it.
The website offers a simple three-step process where people input their names and what parish they were born in. A sample cover letter is provided as well as instant access to the email addresses of all the Irish dioceses.
The pages are also easily printed out so people can fill out the forms and send them away at their own discretion.
In the past seven days, more than 600 people have downloaded the forms.