Fr Michael Kennedy Told to Step Down by Canonical Decree
The parish priest of Dunhill, Fr Michael Kennedy, has been informed that, following the outcome of a Church Canonical process, the recommendation was that he should relinquish his position as parish priest. It is understood Fr Kennedy was told he could still continue as a priest with the support of the Church. The recommendation followed a hearing in which both sides would have been represented by canon lawyers. Should he wish to do so, Fr Kennedy can appeal to Rome and seek to have the matter reinvestigated.
Fr Kennedy, who is in dispute with the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Dr William Lee, has been on administrative leave since September 2003. He spent a short time in Canada at the request of Church authorities but returned to Ireland in 2006. Despite the fact that Dunhill was being administered from Tramore, Fr Kennedy resumed priestly duties without the sanction of the Bishop.
Many parishioners in the Dunhill area have opposing opinions on the situation and there is said to be a strong measure of support for Fr Kennedy.