December 14, 2019
News

Kilkenny gardai launch criminal probe into friar’s gay ‘zombie’ homily

By COLIN BARTLEY

GARDAI in Kilkenny have launched an official investigation into the controversial homily by a Capuchin Friar that compared gay people to “spiritual zombies” that have been infected.

Former Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick McKee made the criminal complaint to gardai in Kilkenny last week.

Mr McKee said he believed the cleric’s comments amounted to “hate speech”.

A local Garda spokesperson confirmed that an official investigation is ongoing. A file on the matter is currently being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

At Saturday evening mass in the Capuchin Friary in Kilkenny, an apology was made from the alter by members of the Capuchin Order in the city.

The person at the centre of the controversy, Br Tom Forde (pictured above) was not present, but the members of the order told the congregation Br Forde did not mean to cause hurt or offence.

The controversy was sparked a week earlier when Brother Forde, in his homily, likened members of the LGBTQ community to “spiritual zombies” that had been “infected”.

A local Garda spokesperson this afternoon confirmed an official investigation has been launched into the comments.

“We are investigating to see if a crime has occurred on this occasion,” he told KilkennyNow.ie.

“It will be looked at under the ‘Prohibition of incitement to hatred act 1999’. Detectives here are currently working on gathering evidence and a file is being prepared for the DPP.”

At present in Ireland there are no specific laws in Ireland regarding hate-speech. If any charge is to be made, it will be under the ‘Prohibition of incitement to hatred act’.

 

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