Tuesday 12 November 2019

Fr D'Arcy has 'no regrets' over rally for ex-tycoon

Father Brian D'Arcy speaks to thousands of people attending a rally in support of Sean Quinn and his family in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan last week.
Father Brian D'Arcy speaks to thousands of people attending a rally in support of Sean Quinn and his family in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan last week.

Mark O'Regan

PRIEST and columnist Fr Brian D'Arcy has said he has no regrets over his decision to attend a recent rally in support of bankrupt billionaire Sean Quinn and his family.

He said it was in his pastoral role as a priest that he was present and that as Christians it is only right that we "stand by our families and neighbours when they are in trouble".

Fr D'Arcy was one of a number of well-known personalities who took to the streets of Ballyconnell, Co Cavan on July 29, in a public act of solidarity with the embattled Quinn family.

Tragedy

He described what has happened to Sean Quinn as a "tragedy" and said regulators, auditors and banks should be hauled before the courts -- not the Quinn family.

He did not apologise for attending, saying his duty as a priest meant he had to offer support to people in trouble. "I was there as a friend, as a neighbour and as a priest and leader in this particular area," he told RTE's 'Marian Finucane Show' on Saturday.

"The day that a priest hasn't the right to go and be with people in trouble is a bad day. And because he's there with people in trouble does not mean, and never has meant, he is in support of wrongdoing," he said.

He also revealed that he had met Peter Darragh Quinn -- who is believed to have absconded across the Border after being sentenced to three months in jail for contempt of court -- and advised him to hand himself over.

"I said to Peter, 'Some day this is all going have to be done, it will all have to be resolved.' I left it at that," he said.

He also said he has received "a lot of stick", and out of 20 letters he received last week, only three supported his stance to back the Quinns.

The priest also said he does not know whether his actions have landed him in hot water with the Vatican.

Irish Independent

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