Cork priest at centre of 'gender bender' controversy no longer school chaplain

Cork Priest At Centre Of 'Gender Bender' Controversy No Longer School Chaplain
A spokesperson confirmed that Fr Michael O’Leary took the decision to no longer provide chaplaincy services to the school
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Michael Bolton

A Cork priest has stepped back from his role as school chaplain after a guest speaker he invited to a school mass made a series of provocative remarks.

A spokesperson for the diocese of Cork and Ross confirmed that Fr Michael O’Leary, parish priest of Wilton, took the decision to no longer provide chaplaincy services to Gaelscoil Uí Riada, which is the only school in the parish.


Many parents walked out of the school mass last week and subsequently complained to the school principal, who issued an apology to all parents and said he had no prior knowledge of the speech.

The school's board of management has contacted parents this week informing them that Fr O'Leary will no longer be involved with the school.

The speech saw him talk disparagingly of divorce and homosexuality, and use the derogatory term “gender benders” when discussing Ireland’s Eurovision entrant Bambie Thug, a Cork native who is non-binary.

In the wake of the Mass, the board’s chairman Séamus Ó Rinn and school principal Breanndán Ó Gréilligh wrote to parents saying that they “deeply and sincerely” regretted what had happened and the “upset” caused.

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