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Martin McVeigh Photo by: BBC

Tyrone priest at center of porn scandal granted leave by Cardinal Sean Brady

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Martin McVeigh Photo by: BBC

The Catholic priest at the center of a gay porn controversy has taken temporary leave from his duties as the parish priest of Pomeroy in County Tyrone.

According to the Irish Times, Father Martin McVeigh asked the Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady for a temporary leave after a meeting between local parents and the representatives of the archdiocese on Friday night proved 'inconclusive.'

The archdiocese, in an attempt to address the controversy, has reportedly been conducting an inquiry into how 16 pornographic images were 'inadvertently' shown by the priest to a group of about thirty parents and one child during a powerpoint presentation on children's first Confessions on March 26.

In response to the outcry Father McVeigh claimed he had no idea where the pictures had originated and that the memory stick that contained them had been used by several people.

'The priest has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery. The archdiocese immediately sought the advice of the PSNI who indicated that, on the basis of the evidence available, no crime had been committed,' Cardinal Brady  told the press. The Cardinal added that there was no suggestion that the images were of minors and no suggestion they were illegal.

In a curious twist, the computer laptop in question was stolen from Father McVeigh’s house shortly after the offending event. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have appealed to the public for information to help establish the timeline and the circumstances behind the theft.

Meanwhile the Catholic Communications Office said a further meeting will take place on the matter between the parents and representatives of the archdiocese.  Some parents have spoken to the press about their anger that Father McVeigh will keep his job.

'Parents and parishioners are disgruntled and angry,' one local source reportedly told The Sun. 'He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted.'

After he was informed of the images, Father McVeigh stopped the presentation and offered no explanation or apology, instead he simply left the room some angered parents said.

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