Thursday 18 October 2018

Judge directs that ‘renegade’ bishop be investigated for marriage he allegedly performed involving a 17-year-old

Gordon Deegan

A judge has directed that renegade bishop Michael Cox be investigated by Gardai concerning a marriage he allegedly performed that involved a 'naive' 17 year old juvenile.

At Ennis District Children's Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan ordered that Gardai investigate Bishop Cox concerning a marriage certificate that was handed into court that contained Bishop Cox's seal relating to the marriage of the 17-year old Co Clare boy to a Co Cork girl.

The teenager - who is currently on bail relating to alleged offences before the court - got married to the girl at a ceremony officiated by Bishop Cox in Birr in Co Offaly on November 23 last.

The legal age for marriage in Ireland is currently 18 and Bishop Cox is no stranger to controversy having previously ordained pop star, Sinead O'Connor a priest in 1999 in Lourdes.

Bishop Cox is not a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church and is instead a bishop of the obscure Latin Tridentine Church.

At the court yesterday after reading the marriage cert, Judge Durcan asked the teenager: “You were married by Bishop Cox - is that correct?”

In response, the teenager -who cannot be named for legal reasons - said 'yes'.

Judge Durcan said: “I don't think Bishop Cox has the right to carry out marriage ceremonies in this country.”

Judge Durcan ordered that the boy's solicitor, John Casey hand over the marriage cert immediately to Insp Tom Kennedy.

Insp Kennedy said: “That is not a valid marriage in my view.

The boy said that his new wife was waiting for him outside the court and asked for one last chance from the judge.

“This is very difficult for the boy's mother and aunt who are here in court,” said Mr Casey.

“They have just met the young lady, his wife outside the courtroom. His new in-laws are outside the door and this is very traumatic for the boy's entire family.

Mr Casey said that the boy “is the most naive person I have ever come across”.

Asked who made contact with Bishop Cox by Judge Durcan, the boy said: “My wife's family did.”

Judge Durcan said that arising from the boy breaching his bail, he would remand the boy in custody at St Patrick's institution to Ennis District Court on Friday (tomorrow) for sentencing on his various matters before the court.

“We know all about reality TV, this is reality courtroom,” said Judge Durcan.

Speaking after court, Insp Kennedy confirmed that an investigation into Bishop Michael Cox performing the marriage relating to the young person would now commence.

The boy was brought before the court later yesterday afternoon on a fresh charge relating to absconding from custody. Garda James Hanley told the court that the boy absconded from custody after Gardai stopped off at a local Supermacs to get lunch for the boy.

Garda Hanley said that the boy was found an hour later at his family home where his cuffs were found cut in half. Judge Durcan also remanded the boy in St Patrick's to Friday on the new charge.

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