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Co Antrim born Cardinal Keith O'Brien dies aged 80

He resigned in 2013 following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Ballycastle born Cardinal Keith O'Brien has died at the age of 80.

Cardinal O'Brien was forced to resign as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Despite his resignation he retained the title of Cardinal, but gave up all duties associated with the role.

At the time he was the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in Great Britain.

He had recently been injured in a fall and died in a Newcastle hospital.

O'Brien was born in Ballycastle in 1938 but later moved to Scotland where his father served in the Royal Navy.

Confirmation of his death was announced by his successor, Archbishop Leo Cushley.

He said: “At 1am on 19 March 2018, his eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne surrounded by family and friends and fortified by the rites of Holy Church. RIP.

“In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.”

His successor gave him the last rites on Friday.

The cardinal had resigned in February 2013 after three priests and a former priest alleged improper conduct during the 1980s.

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