Former priest marries young mother just months after quitting the church

Ian Kennedy

A County Sligo priest has wed his girlfriend just eight months after he left the church.

Ian Kennedy and girlfriend Maria Cunningham were married last week according to newspaper reports.

The Sligo Champion stated that Cunningham gave birth to a baby boy just weeks before Kennedy quit the Church.

The Irish Sun reports that the family are now living in the village of Ballinacarrow near Sligo town.

The 42-year-old priest took to the pulpit in Ballinafad church last January to tell parishioners he was leaving the priesthood for personal reasons.

At the time he said he was starting a new chapter in his life.

Locals have welcomed his marriage and wished the happy couple all the best.

One former parishioner told the Irish Sun: “They deserve every happiness. They are lovely people.

“People knew of his close friendship with Maria and wondered if that is why he left the priesthood.

“Maria is over the moon at becoming Mrs Kennedy. They made no secret of their friendship.”

When he quit the priesthood, Kennedy told local newspaper the Sligo Champion he had left of his own ‘free will and choice’.

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