Parish priest cancels Sinn Féin meeting over abortion

Parish priest cancels Sinn Féin meeting over abortion Michelle O’Neill

A Catholic priest in Co. Tyrone cancelled a political party’s meeting at a church hall over their support for abortion.

Fr Eugene O’Neill snubbed a booking from pro-abortion party Sinn Féin to use St Patrick’s Hall in Coalisland after being contacted by pro-life campaigners.

The parish hall had been booked for Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, who represents the area and lives in the neighbouring parish of Clonoe, to attend and address a public meeting on Thursday, January 16.

However, local priest Fr O’Neill was alerted by pro-life groups and intervened in order to prevent the gathering from taking place on church property.


Fr O’Neill, who was not previously aware of the meeting, said that the event was not endorsed or sanctioned by the Church.

“The parish is not legally permitted to use Church property for any political activity whatsoever,” said the Armagh native.

Bernadette Smyth of anti-abortion group Precious Life commended Fr O’Neill for taking immediate action.

“Fr Eugene has stood up for the faithful and strongly reaffirmed Church teaching,” she said.

“We would like to thank him for taking a strong stand for life, Coalisland Parish for their firm pro-life stance and to everyone who raised initial concerns.”