03/12/2009

Priest Sorry For Revenue Slur

The priest who stirred major controversy by calling the Revenue service a 'shower of b*****ds' has apologised for his remarks.

Fr Tadhg O'Donovan called Revenue Officials 'the biggest shower of bastards on the planet' in the Irish Daily Star on Monday, during a report which revealed the priest had reached a settlement for €433,000 for under-declaration of tax.

Fr O'Donovan is curate in the parish of Whitechurch and a convicted tax evader.

Yesterday, Archbishop Dermot Clifford had apologised to the Revenue Commissioners for what he described as "unacceptable" comments made by the priest in his diocese.

A group of senior clergymen met in Cork after the comments emerged before the Archbishop announced he would be seeing Father O'Donovan and would be demanding a full and immediate apology from him.

This afternoon Fr O'Donovan issued a statement in which he said: "I wish to apologise for the offensive remarks I made in relation to the Revenue Commissioners. I unreservedly withdraw what I said about them in relation to the timing of the publication of the list, the offensive allegation that they were responsible for suicides, the very intemperate tone and obscene language of my comments, and the statement that the Revenue Commissioners were inconsiderate and inhumane.

"I made these remarks in the heat of the moment and did not realise that they would be published."

In March 2008, Fr O'Donovan was fined €6,000 at Cork District Court on ten charges relating to his tax affairs - after agreeing a separate €213,000 settlement with the Revenue Commissioners.

(DW/BMcc)

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