Parishioners berate bishop after priest is moved
Hundreds of parishioners are at loggerheads with the Bishop of Kerry after their village was left without a resident priest.
A petition of more than 1,200 signatures was sent to Bishop Ray Browne yesterday in protest at the failure to appoint a resident priest in the parish of Kilcummin.
The diocesan changes were announced in June following the retirement of three priests, each of whom had more than 50 years' service.
This has left eight out of the 53 parishes in Co Kerry without a resident priest.
The decision to move Fr Eamon Mulvihill to Castlegregory has been met with anger by Kilcummin parishioners, with reports that Mass collections have dropped significantly.
A large delegation of parishioners arrived at the diocesan offices in St Mary's Cathedral, Killarney, to formally hand over their petition, which was accepted by Fr Nicholas Flynn.
Parishioners in Kilcummin, which has a population of around 3,000, are concerned that the removal of the resident priest will have a hugely detrimental impact.
In a number of statements issued since June, Bishop Browne said providing continuity of service in parishes in the diocese has been a challenge.
However, he also told a delegation from the parish that his decision had been made and will not be reversed.