HANDOVER: Kerry Diocesan Secretary Fr Nicholas Flynn greets parishioners from Kilcummin at the Bishop’s house, Killarney, on Wednesday night when they delivered their petition. Included are John Foley, Cllr Marie Moloney and Pat O’Sullivan. Picture: Eamonn Keogh
By Sean Moriarty
Parishioners from Kilcummin, who presented a petition to the bishop’s residence in Killarney on Wednesday night in protest at his failure to appoint a resident priest in their parish, say they will now take their fight to the Archbishop of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland.
Over 1,200 parishioners have signed the petition while hundreds called to the Bishop of Kerry’s door in Killarney town, and although Dr Ray Browne was unavailable to meet them, the petition was received by Fr Nicholas Flynn at St Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney, who was unwilling to comment on the on-going dispute.
Locals are up in arms following the bishop’s decision last month to serve the parish with priests from neighbouring parishes, leaving Kilcummin without a resident priest.
Two public meetings in Kilcummin have been attended by hundreds of people but the bishop remains steadfast in his decision.
“The challenge that all of us face together is to provide the best service to all 53 parishes in the diocese with the resources we have,” the bishop said in a statement.
Collections at Masses are also down significantly since the stand-off began.
Local councillor Marie Moloney is one of many locals fighting to change the bishop’s mind.
“We are hopeful that the bishop will respond to our petition and take on board the concerns of our parishioners,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “We had advised him that we were coming on Wednesday night but Fr Nicholas told us he had a previous engagement. Our next move is to write to the archbishop.”