Belfast Telegraph

Priest gay porn probe in limbo: Parents told inquiry ‘inconclusive’ as cleric takes leave

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

An investigation into how a Catholic priest accidentally showed gay porn images to primary school children has proved “inconclusive”.

The probe was launched last month after Fr Martin McVeigh projected the images on to a screen during a meeting for parents in Pomeroy during a presentation at a school in Co Tyrone.

Parents said 16 indecent images of men were displayed during a Powerpoint presentation.

The priest said he had no knowledge of the offending imagery and did not know how the material came to be on a memory stick plugged in to his laptop computer.

The incident occurred during a meeting at St Mary's School in Pomeroy on March 26.

Last night, around 50 parishioners were allowed into a meeting to hear a prepared statement in which the initial findings of the investigation were presented.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church told the Belfast Telegraph: “A meeting took place in the Parish of Pomeroy, Co Tyrone, between parents and representatives of the Archdiocese of Armagh.

“The outcome of the meeting was inconclusive. There will be a further meeting at a time, date and venue to be confirmed by the

parish of Pomeroy. Father Martin McVeigh, at his own request, has asked for temporary leave and Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, has agreed to this request without prejudice to any of the parties involved. No further comment will be issued at this time.”

Last month Cardinal Sean Brady — head of the Catholic Church in Ireland — said the PSNI had indicated that no crime had been committed.

“The priest has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery,” the Cardinal said.

“The archdiocese immediately sought the advice of the PSNI who indicated that, on the basis of the evidence available, no crime had been committed. The priest is co-operating with an investigation of the matter on the part of the archdiocese.”

None of the parents were available for comment last night.

But a statement released by the parents in March said that the priest had become visibly shaken and flustered when the images flashed up on the screen.

One parent said: “He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room.

“The meeting continued in his absence, however, the parents who viewed the pictures were horrified and distracted.

“Twenty minutes later he returned and continued with the meeting.”

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