Ireland's Eye - A round up of top Irish news stories
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It was told that physical contact between the pair began during a trip to Canada and that the complainant told police the priest made her feel "very special,” was "a lot of fun" and that people liked being around him. The court heard about his friendship with her family and that he would often call to the family home, on one occasion bringing her a coat as a present. This, Justice Gemma Loughran said when sentencing, was an abuse of the family's trust and of Rafferty's position as a priest and "quasi-teacher."
Lambasting the 50-year-old as he stood in the dock, Loughran said she would not be taking into consideration the 2008 lowering of the legal age of consent to 16. “She was below the age of consent. End of story," she said, adding that the age difference involved also represented an abuse of trust.
The judge also outlined aspects of the victim impact report, which concluded that the girl is now suffering “chronic adjustment disorder.”
As well as probation and community service, she ordered that Rafferty, who has stepped down from his role as parish priest but remains within the priesthood, be subject to a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
Against Gay Nups
MOURNE Presbyterian Church has penned an open letter to South Down MP Margaret Ritchie urging her to vote against a government proposal to redefine marriage.
In the Kilkeel church's letter, its minister and associate minister say that a vote by the former SDLP leader in favor of the bill, or an abstention, would be viewed as "a betrayal of our trust."
Reverend William Bingham said the moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Reverend Roy Patton, had encouraged all congregations to write to their political representatives to show their opposition to the marriage (same-sex couples) bill due to be voted on this week in the House of Commons.
An extract from the letter to Ritchie reads, "Marriage was the first human institution that God established, it is held in high esteem by your constituents. We sincerely hope you will not fail us on this fundamental issue."
In addition, he was keen to point out that he felt the bill's approval would have harmful effects on society.
“We are not looking for protection of church rights, what we are seeking is to protect the whole of society against this unnecessary and damaging proposal," he said
The SDLP's position on gay marriage is unclear, with some party members taking contradictory lines on the subject in recent months. Bingham said, "This is a major issue, and if political parties are going to vote on things like this, they must make their stance clear in their manifestos.”
Ritchie declined to comment and said she will be contacting Mourne Presbyterian Church directly.
County Down Outlook
BAILIEBOROUGH, Co. Cavan is the most romantic town in all of Ireland – according to Tesco anyway.
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"It is believed to have cause widespread anger..." Some 60 or so complaints were received from a scholastic community of several thousands (Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny” calls on leaders to fight poverty
I think Fran da man is suggesting what Timothy Leary proposed way back in the 60s. Tune in - turn on - drop out - maan! After over a half century in m4,000 Irish social welfare letters encourage young people to emigrate
Social abortion. If true, what they're really saying to young people is that employers whom the Government principally represent prefer cheaper importIrish university suspends Legion of Mary for anti-gay literature
Another shameful attempt by the secularist cardinals of the new church of Political Correctness (PC), thumping their copies of Búnreach na h'&E