Brian D'Arcy

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Father Brian D'Arcy C.P. (born 1945) is a Passionist priest based in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. A noted author, newspaper columnist, broadcaster and preacher, he serves as Rector of St. Gabriel's Retreat, the Graan. D'Arcy has authored over ten books including A Little Bit of Religion and A Little Bit of Healing.

Early life[edit]

D'Arcy grew up in the village of Bellanaleck in County Fermanagh.[1] His father Hugh worked at Enniskillen railway station[2] and had been a notable Gaelic Athletic Association footballer in his youth.[3] The young D'Arcy's education began in a local school before he was sent to the Christian Brothers School in Omagh.[4] Having successfully sat the Eleven Plus exam, he entered St. Michael's College, Enniskillen.[5] He later studied scholastic philosophy at UCD.[6]

Pastoral life[edit]

In September 1962, at the age of 17, D'Arcy became a novice at the Passionist monastery in Enniskillen.[7] A year later he was transferred to Mount Argus in Dublin.[6] He was ordained a priest in December 1969.[8]

In his early years as a priest, D'Arcy became an unofficial chaplain to the showbusiness community in Dublin, visiting dancehalls seven nights a week and hearing confessions from musicians and fans alike.[9] Such was his fame during this period that he reportedly[by whom?] became the inspiration for Dermot Morgan's character, Father Ted Crilly.[10][broken citation]

Father D'Arcy has publicly opposed the existing disciplinary norms regarding clerical celibacy and has sought the possibility to ordain married priests.[11][12]

Concerns have been expressed by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about some aspects of Fr D'Arcy's writing; he was warned in April 2012 that he must now submit his writings and broadcasts to an official censor.[13]

Fr. D'Arcy has been a prominent supporter of Seán Quinn (once Ireland's richest billionaire) and his family in their court battles with the Irish state. Fr. D'Arcy controversially spoke at a rally in July 2012 in protest against the High Court finding Sean Quinn Jnr. and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn were found in contempt of court for not complying with its order to produce the €451 million they had moved out of the state while owing it to the state. While Seán Jnr. served his prison time, Peter Quinn (who was found in contempt on the basis of evidence including a video-tape of him in the Ukraine detailing the crime) became a fugitive and is currently at large in Fr. D'Arcy's pastoral area of Enniskillen: in 2013 the High Court found Peter Quinn (in absentia) personally liable to repay €145 million of the money he illegally put out of reach of his creditors.[14][15]

Media career[edit]

D'Arcy hosts a weekly radio programme on BBC Northern Ireland[16] called Religion and Ethics on the air. Since July 1976 he has written the "Father Brian's Little Bit of Religion" column for the Sunday World.[17]

On Sunday 15 April 2007, D'Arcy replaced Canon Roger Royle on the long standing BBC Radio 2 Show, Sunday Half Hour.[18] He left the show on Sunday 29 January 2012.

On Wednesday 8 September 2010, Fr D'Arcy appeared on the primetime BBC 1 programme "The One Show" discussing the Pope's upcoming trip to the United Kingdom.

On 23 January 2012, the BBC announced that D'Arcy would step down from this role, and Diane-Louise Jordan would succeed him.[19]

Awards[edit]

D'Arcy received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his services to the promotion of religious understanding on 30 June 2009 from the University of Ulster.[20]

Response to Murphy Report[edit]

After the publication of the Murphy Report Fr. D'Arcy accused the Vatican of hiding behind legal procedures in not dealing with allegations of child abuse within the church.[21] Following the report's publication he has called for a radical re-formation of the church's structures and resignations of high-ranking figures within the Irish Catholic Church.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ D'Arcy, Brian, A Different Journey, (Sliabh Bán Productions, 2006, ISBN 0-9545829-5-0) p.17
  2. ^ A Different Journey, p.18
  3. ^ A Different Journey, p.19
  4. ^ A Different Journey, p.20
  5. ^ A Different Journey, p.21
  6. ^ a b A Different Journey, p.38
  7. ^ A Different Journey, p.27
  8. ^ A Different Journey, p.46
  9. ^ A Different Journey, p.55
  10. ^ Connection with Brian Trendy[dead link]
  11. ^ Priest resigns over relationship
  12. ^ Why Ireland Is Running Out of Priests
  13. ^ Liberal priest censured by Vatican
  14. ^ The Irish Times, 30 July 2012
  15. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/quinn-nephew-ordered-to-pay-188m-in-damages-to-ibrc-1.1392954
  16. ^ Weekly radio program
  17. ^ Link to recent article
  18. ^ Press Release from the BBC
  19. ^ BBC Press Release: Father Brian D’Arcy steps down from Sunday Half Hour
  20. ^ Honorary Degree for Fr Brian D'Arcy University of Ulster, 30 June 2009
  21. ^ 'I was not in a position to comment. The report was already done', Ronan McGreevy, The Irish Times, 1 December 2009, retrieved 4 December 2009.
  22. ^ Brian D'Arcy: Senior Church figures should step down, Ireland On-Line News Headlines, 27 November 2009, retrieved 4 December 2009

External links[edit]