Donegal churchgoers walk out of mass after priest criticises GAA star’s stance on gay marriage 5 years ago

Donegal churchgoers walk out of mass after priest criticises GAA star’s stance on gay marriage

That’s one way to make a stand.

Churchgoers in the parish of Annagry in Donegal walked out of mass on Saturday night after the priest used his sermon to criticise a Donegal footballer’s stance on gay marriage.

Eamon McGee, a long-serving member of the Donegal panel and an All-Ireland winner in 2012, publicly expressed his support for a ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming marriage referendum recently, a stance which attracted plenty of admiration but also criticism in some quarters.

Some of the criticism of McGee’s stance was expressed close to home on Saturday night as according to Donegal Daily, Father John Britto used his sermon to vilify McGee for his stance on gay marriage and told the congregation that he was wrong to support a 'Yes' vote.

Donegal Daily report that a number of parishioners in Annagry, which is only a few miles away from McGee’s hometown of Gweedore, were upset at Britto’s comments and walked out of the mass.

“A few people walked out," one parishioner told Donegal Daily.

“Father Britto was giving a very robust sermon on gay marriage and said McGee was wrong (to support the Yes campaign).”

Speaking to the Irish Examiner last week, McGee revealed that the reaction to his stance on the matter has, for the most part, been positive.

“The reaction has been more than positive,” McGee said.

“A Catholic organisation was ribbing me on Twitter and asking why the GAA was taking a stand on this. It’s a societal issue rather than a political issue but the majority of it has been supportive and I think it’s a good opportunity too for people to talk about it. It just shows you there’s that bit of open-mindedness there.”

“If I ever have a child and he or she turns out to be gay, they could say to me ‘you had a chance to make a difference in that vote’,” he added.

“I don’t know would I be more ashamed that I didn’t vote or the fact I voted against it. It comes down to equality and one less difference in society.”

Well said Eamon.