Sunday, 15 May 2016



EMOTIVE supporters of Father Rory Coyle, who is on leave from Armagh after outing himself on the gay app GRINDR are very unfairly attacking THE IRISH NEWS newspaper for publishing the story.

Don't get me wrong! I am neither a supporter of or defender of The Irish News. I believe that The Irish News have been much less than fair to me over the years - and I once reported them (unsuccessfully) to the Press Complaints Commission. But the newspaper IS NOT to blame for the scandal surrounding Rory Coyle.

The scandal surrounding Rory Coyle is a major news item in the Catholic / Nationalist community. The Irish News is the principal newspaper of that community. If it had neglected to give that story prominence it would rightly have been accused of bias and non-professionalism.

Instead The Irish News did a story which told the facts but presented it in a way that said that many in the community were supportive of Father Coyle.

The Irish News had been sent a series of naked pictures of Father Coyle which he himself had placed on Grindr. The Irish News did not publish even ONE of those embarrassing pics. 

Nor did it publish the full text of his sex chat which the newspaper had in full.

Furthermore The Irish News refused to let any other newspaper have access to those naked pictures and embarrassing chat - even thought it could have. In fact it could have sold those pictures to others for a good price. Instead it practised restraint and withheld all that material.

And Irish News is a pro Catholic and pro Nationalist newspaper.

It was founded by Catholic bishops and priests to campaign against Charles Stewart Parnell after he committed the big sin in the eyes of the Church of being involved in a relationship in which divorce featured.

In my opinion the vast majority of The Irish News' 40,000 plus readers would have expected it to bring the story to them and bring it to them in the sensitive way they did.

Father Rory Coyle is one of the most prominent priests in Ireland. He was the Master of Ceremonies at the funeral of Cardinal Cahal Daly.

He was the Master of Ceremonies to Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Eamon Martin.

He was / is the secretary of Armagh GAA.

He is a school governor and chaplain.

St Malachys PS Armagh

His story is an item that is newsworthy and that is of interest to the public.

If a Free Presbyterian clergyman, or a well known politician or a well known medical had of being caught on Grindr with his pants down The Irish News readers would have expected their paper to run the story prominently,

This is a matter of journalistic professionalism and not a matter of anyone being anti priest, anti gay or anti Catholic.

For God's sake, some Irish News journalists walk up to Mass in St Patrick's Chapel everyday!

Anger against The Irish News is misdirected.

People must focus their anger on who is truly to blame - a very foolish priest, another gay man on Grindr etc.

Let us stop the hysteria and irrationality and let reason and common sense prevail.


  1. I notice a petition has been set up on Care2 to boycott the Irish News for ‘... destroying the character of a good Irish priest.’

    If Rory Coyle is an example of “good Irish priest” then it doesn’t say much for the rest of them.

  2. The sheer brainlessness, blindness and stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. "Good Irish priest" - my ass! More power to the Irish News!

  3. Bishop Buckley is correct in what he says. Like him I believe that the Irish News carried the story in a responsible way. I will continue to purchase it.

    I am a catholic parent. I wish Father Coyle well. We are all sinners. But I would not want a priest who is into casual gay sex teaching my boys in school or being a chaplain to them or even giving them their holy communion. Its hard enough these days keeping your kinds on the straight and narrow without them having role models that are living lives I do not want for my two boys. Sorry.

  4. This boycott by the folk of Armagh doesn't really surprise me. They are still in denial regarding Brady's part in covering up sex abuse. Many are like the 3 wee monkeys hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Bury your heads in the sand, and attend your mass, just like sheep.

    1. When I checked today the boycott was signed by 19 people.

      I don't think its fair to the Armagh people as a whole to say that they are all signing it.

      I agree with you about Sean Brady. No matter what these bishops and priests heap on the people they ask for more!

      Is it some kind of religious masochism?

    2. Pat, its 29 now.

      Is there any significance in the fact that most of the 29 are women?

  5. One of the most prominent priests in Ireland????? now who's over egging it Pat!

    1. Only in the sence that he is MC to the Catholic primate.

      Is that not major prominence ?

    2. Pat, would you swop your present position to be the mc to tbe bishop of down and connor?

  6. Well said, Pat in the above article. The supporter's of Rory Coyle are showing collective madness, stupidity and deep denial of reality, in their "rage" against the Irish News. Well done Irish News and well done Pat Buckley for the way you both handled this scandal that has been caused by Fr Coyle - no one else.

  7. Are we not entitled to expect the most basic standards from our priests? I have no difficulty with priests having relationships with men or women but to place naked photos of yourself on a website to entice responses from strangers is a step far beyond what is acceptable in terms of standards of decency. He is no wee pup - he has himself and himself only to blame.

  8. Yes, Rory is the master of his own demise, I agree. And, at his age, perhaps he should have known better.

    However, I really do think the Church has something to answer for in all of this as well. I will leave aside the advisability of enforced celibacy for clergy (perhaps in years to come it will be considered to be totally unrealistic and even unhealthy and disordered to force people in to celibacy, and even a form of controlling abuse). I will rather concentrate on how the Church in its training of its priests prepares them for the rather rarified life of celibacy ?

    I know from my own training in seminary many decades ago that such training and education for the priestly life of celibacy was non-existent. There was the feeble advice to have a healthy prayer life, clutch rosary beads in your hands at night, and a rather masculine muscular christianity approach that consisted essentially of denial of who and what you were, and sublimation by liberal use of tobacco and whiskey, and an all consuming hobby like golf, and some quiet masturbation that could be confessed.

    I very much doubt if Father Rory and his companions were given anything more than that either.

    So, I would suggest that the Church and its seminaries and its training has something to answer for in all of this, and cannot just lay the blame at the individual's door when their abysmal formation and training does not equip them for the life the Church requires of them.

    Isn't it called vicarious liability ? The Church needs to take account of its own accountability in all of this by its shocking failure to provide effective, healthy and integrated formation for people like Father Rory.

    But, yes, Father Rory does have to take some responsibility for his actions, and he is going to have to pay a heavy price for his lack of wisdom and common sense. I feel for him, though, and do hope that there are people who are looking after him and loving him, and that in time he will be able to move on, probably to another life. And in that I wish him happiness and success.

    1. Thank you for that well balanced view.

  9. Armagh needs to call once again on Spin Doctor Timmio! Sean Baptist Brady never looked back after Timmy's PR coup. Spin Doctor Timo will have Rory bandaged up and re-packaged in no time. You can never have too many "wounded healers"!!

  10. Perhaps, deep down, he wanted to be caught? Perhaps indeed it is the best thing to have happened as with understanding,compassion,and a lot of loving, challenging support he will emerge a far better person. It is up to him to decide if he wants to remain a priest but if not, he can be a greater witness for Christ and indeed help us towards having that much needed conversation on the nature of priesthood as we know it today. He must be hurting badly and his family must be suffering greatly as indeed are so many of the parishioners of whom I am one. It is a relief to me to hear of so much empathy and understanding and forgiveness towards Fr Rory. Warms my old heart and happening in the middle of the Year of Mercy can only be a good thing. However, as some have already pointed out, it is a bit ridiculous for those attempting to blame the newspaper for what happened. We haven't learned as a church to accept criticism and learn from it. It's partly our shared history of 'no surrenderism' and inability to accept our natural propensity towards failing to live up to being witnesses of the Nazarene. We all wish young Fr Rory well and would welcome him back with open arms when he has learned from this embarrassing episode. Loneliness does terrible things to people. Time to have a proper discussion on mandatory celibacy AND priestly formation.

    1. "Rory Coyle, priest Grindr star. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic grindr priest. Rory Coyle will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster... quicker at getting to Dublin and Portugal" Just call Timio at 0800 123timcanspin or #woundedhealersondemand