Magee portrait removed from parish church

A PICTURE of Bishop John Magee has been removed from a church in Co Cork as parishioners there found it upsetting in the wake of the Cloyne report.

A spokesman for Archbishop Dermot Clifford, who took over the running of the Diocese of Cloyne in 2009, confirmed the picture had been removed from the parish church in Mitchelstown, where Dr Magee had lived until recently.

Following the damning report on the handling of clerical sexual abuse allegations, locals expressed their anger that the picture was still hanging in the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin.

“The picture was put up on display some time ago to encourage vocations,” said a spokesman for the archbishop. “It was removed at the weekend because of concerns following the Cloyne report that it might upset parishioners.”

Tom O’Shea, who lives in Mitchelstown, last week said he would not attend Mass in the parish church until the picture was removed.

A relative of Mr O’Shea’s yesterday said he was pleased the picture had been removed and didn’t want to make any further comment.

Community activist Timmy White said the fact the picture was still hanging in the church after the publication of the report had caused “terrible ill-feeling”.

“I’m not a Mass-goer myself but I know many people who are and they were very angry about it,” he said. “I think it was a good idea to take it down at last.”

He said he felt the majority of people in Mitchelstown would not welcome Dr Magee back into their community.

The picture of Dr Magee had the words “Be Not Afraid, Follow Me” written next to it.

Dr Magee left Mitchelstown before the report was published.

It is believed he is now living in North America.

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