Singing sensation Fr. Ray Kelly shares his thoughts on two controversial priests: Fr. Michael Cleary and Fr. Neil Horan.
The scandal only became public knowledge after Fr. Cleary, also a musician himself, passed away in 1993. It was revealed that the priest had been instrumental in raising his love child, Ross.
“I would always have sympathy for someone who is struggling," Fr. Kelly told The Irish Sun.
“The bottom line is we priests are human beings like everyone else. I didn’t know the man but I suppose he had to live the life he lived, which was a pity really."
“That was the situation he was pressurised into, so maybe he was a popular guy, he needed to be in a relationship. I suppose that was just the way it was.”
He concluded by saying priests should all realize they have a particular responsibility.
However, Fr. Kelly had more reservations about Fr. Neil Horan. In 2009, Fr. Horan auditioned for Britain's Got Talent - but by then, he was no stranger to the limelight.
Again, in 2004, his name was on everyone's lips for all the wrong reasons when he pounced on Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei de Lima at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and cost the athlete an Olympic Gold.
“That wasn’t great, that wasn’t great at all. I think what he did was a bit off, interfering with other athletes, that was a bit over the top, as far as I’m concerned," Fr. Kelly stated.
“If he has a message to give out, there are other ways of doing it, beside doing that, interfering with people and upsetting them, that’s not good."