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Priest barricades himself in to protest forced retirement

A 70 year old priest Ireland, has barricaded himself inside his presbytery in protest at the appointment of a younger successor.

Fr James Cashman has been in the in County Wexford house for more than three weeks, refusing to unbolt the front door. He communicates by shouting from an upstairs window. Fr Cashman is believed to have prepared for his protest by stocking the house with tinned food and long-life groceries. A number of neighbours take him bread, milk and other fresh food each morning, while a nun has also been allowed entry.

He says that he is being transferred to Dublin against his wishes, and has told neighbours that he fears ending up homeless.

From the upstairs window, he said: "Hopefully, and with the help of God, matters will eventually be resolved, but I don't think that is going to happen in the short term. It could take weeks, but more than likely months, before things are sorted out.

The Diocese of Ferns said in a statement: "Changes in clerical personnel occur annually in Catholic dioceses. Fr Banville became curate of St Leonards, a fact acknowledged by Fr Cashman in his handing over of accounts, records and church keys."

Times (London)