Wednesday 22 November 2017

Priest gets apology from RTE and will return to his parish

Mark Hilliard

THE priest at the centre of false claims that he fathered a child with an underage girl is to return to his parish tomorrow to say Mass for the first time since stepping down from parish duties.

Fr Kevin Reynolds received a full apology from RTE yesterday after its 'Prime Time Investigates' programme had wrongly accused him of fathering a baby girl in Africa.

The Galway priest's libel action in relation to last May's allegations is expected to continue before the High Court within weeks.

Fr Reynolds was accused of having a daughter named 'Sheila' with an underage Kenyan girl named Veneranda while he was working in Africa.

Denying the claims, he pleaded with the makers of 'A Mission To Prey' not to broadcast the accusation and even offered to take a paternity test. He later undertook the test, which came back negative last month.

Such was the gravity of the allegation that he was forced to step down from his parish in Ahascragh, Co Galway.

However, the Irish Independent understands he is now set to return and celebrate Mass there tomorrow morning.

In its apology yesterday, RTE said: "RTE now fully and unreservedly accepts that the allegations made by 'Prime Time' against Fr Kevin Reynolds are baseless, without any foundation whatever and untrue, and that Fr Reynolds is a priest of the utmost integrity who has had an unblemished 40-year career in the priesthood."

The statement issued by RTE yesterday was also read out on the state broadcaster's news bulletins and published on its website.

Irish Independent

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