Standing ovation for Leixlip priest

CONFEY parishioners gave their former parish priest a standing ovation on Sunday.

CONFEY parishioners gave their former parish priest a standing ovation on Sunday.

When Bishop Raymond Field announced the reinstatement of Fr. Phillip Corcoran, they rose from the seats with tremendous applause.

Introducing the 11am ceremony in the Parish of St Charles Borromeo in Leixlip, Fr Tony Shaughnessy, said to applause, before the Bishop’s remarks: “We are all delighted this moment has arrived.” Bishop Field said Fr Corcoran had been asked to “stand aside” in 2008 in accordance with procedures aimed at ensuring the safety of children.

He stressed that standing aside did not mean that any allegations made against a priest were either true or false and said Fr Corcoran was returning to parish duties this weekend as priest “in good standing”.

A prolonged standing ovation followed for Fr Corcorcan, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination.

Fr Corcoran (75), son of a Garda Superintendent, thanked all who had helped him, with no little humour.

In the presence of his brother, Michael, and family members, he thanked relatives, friends, church colleagues and parishioners for their “unwavering support,” including Fr Sean Cassidy, Fr Paul - “blowing smoke from heaven”, Fr Tony Shaughnessy and Fr Peter Clancy, who has been recovering from surgery.

He also thanked Bishop Field he went on to thank Archbishop Martin, “for three and half year’s holiday with spending money”.

Fr Corcorcan, who stepped aside in 2008, also said that you cannot put your life on hold. He told the Leinster Leader that parishioners were “brilliant” and “excellent” in their support.