Gardaí to probe bishop’s performing of boy’s marriage

A judge directed that renegade bishop Michael Cox be investigated by gardaí concerning a marriage he allegedly performed involving a “naive” 17-year-old Co Clare boy and a Cork girl.

At Ennis District Children’s Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan ordered that gardaí investigate Bishop Cox concerning a marriage certificate handed into court that contained his seal relating to the marriage.

The boy — who is on bail relating to alleged offences before the court — married the girl at a ceremony officiated by Bishop Cox in Birr in Co Offaly on Nov 23.

The legal age for marriage is 18.

Bishop Cox, who ordained Sinead O’Connor a priest in 1999, is not a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church but of the Latin Tridentine Church.

Yesterday, Judge Durcan, having read the marriage cert, said: “I don’t think Bishop Cox has the right to carry out marriage ceremonies in this country.”

He ordered that the boy’s solicitor, John Casey, hand over the marriage cert to Insp Tom Kennedy.

The boy said his wife was waiting for him outside the court and asked for one last chance from the judge.

Mr Casey said the boy’s mother had only just met his wife — outside the courtroom. He said the boy “is the most naive person I have ever come across”.

Asked who made contact with Bishop Cox by Judge Durcan, the boy said: “My wife’s family did.”

Judge Durcan said that arising from the boy breaching his bail, he would remand the boy in custody at St Patrick’s institution to Ennis District Court tomorrow for sentencing.

He was brought back before the court after absconding from custody when gardaí stopped at a Supermac’s to get him lunch. He was found an hour later at home with his cuffs cut in half. He was remanded in custody on the new charge.


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