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Impasse ends between Irish priest and bishop

A year-long confrontation between an Irish curate and his diocesan authorities has ended, after 71-year-old Fr James Cashman agreed to accept a post as a convent chaplain as proposed by Bishop Eamon Walsh of Ferns (pictured).

The bishop's office has confirmed that Fr Cashman, who barricaded himself into the presbytery in St Leonard's parish a year ago after claiming he was being "forced" to retire, has agreed to vacate the house and move to Wexford town to become chaplain to the Loreto convent.

The deadlock began after Dr Walsh's predecessor, the former Bishop Brendan Comiskey, appointed a new curate to St Leonard's. Fr Cashman refused to leave the house for some months and petitioned Rome to intervene in the case. He was supplied with provisions by neighbours who were concerned about his welfare. Meanwhile, the new curate, Fr Paddy Banville, had to reside in temporary accommodation ten miles outside the parish.

In recent months, Fr Cashman was seen out and about locally on occasion, signalling an easing of the tension between him and the bishop's office.

The Tablet

Barricaded Irish priest appeals to Vatican (13/11/01)
Priest barricades himself in to protest forced retirement (16/10/01)
Diocese of Ferns

9 Oct 2002