'Weak' Cardinal is rushed to hospital
CARDINAL Sean Brady was last night reported to be "comfortable" in hospital after becoming ill during a Confirmation ceremony.
The 70-year-old Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland was confirming children in the parish church of Kildress in Co Tyrone when he became weak.
Cardinal Brady remained conscious as an ambulance arrived to bring him to Craigavon hospital. Sources said last night the Cardinal suffered from an underlying blood pressure condition. But this came as a surprise to many churchmen who considered him to be exceptionally fit and energetic for his age.
A robust Cavan footballer in his younger days, he is noted in church history books as a mountaineer.
On Reek Sunday in August 2006, he became the first known Archbishop of Armagh to climb Mayo's holy mountain since St Patrick slogged his way to the summit 1,500 years ago.
But at last month's spring conference of bishops, which he chaired, the Cardinal looked pale and was walking less briskly. He did not take part at the end of the meeting in the first news conference held by the bishops since their February summit meeting in Rome with Pope Benedict.
Cardinal Brady has been under severe pressure to resign since last month's revelations that in 1975, as a priest in his native Cavan, he swore to canonical secrecy two children abused by paedophile monk Brendan Smyth -- and did not notify gardai.
At Easter he reaffirmed his intention of staying on to see through the implementation of child protection procedures and other church reforms.