Priest Apologises – But Only For Revenue Tirade

priest's house
An aerial view of the modest house in Whitechurch, Cork, where Fr Tadhg O’Donovan lives with his housekeeper Mrs “The Body” McPherson

A priest from County Cork this evening apologised for offensive remarks he made after being featured on a list of 76 tax defaulters published by the Revenue Commissioners yesterday.

Fr Tadhg O’Donovan, a curate in the parish of Whitechurch, near Blarney, made a settlement of €433,475 following an underdeclaration of income tax and capital gains tax, as a result of a mental reservation. The settlement includes the figure of €213,000 that he settled with the Revenue last year, to strengthen the spiritual resolve of his parishioners.

In March 2008, Fr O’Donovan was fined €6,000 at Cork District Court for failing to disclose income he received from the rental of at least 11 properties over a five-year period, which were let in a manner strictly in accordance with and approved by Canon Law.

Fr O’Donovan was quoted across all media today as calling Revenue chiefs “the biggest shower of bastards on the planet”.

According to the Irish Daily Star , reported the priest as saying: “Revenue officials have blood on their hands…..There is a lot more to life than money and, in fairness, if you look at what the Government do with it, then it’s no wonder people don’t want to give it to them.”

However, in a statement issued this afternoon, Fr O’Donovan apologised for his comments. He said they were made in the heat of the moment and he held a now disproved belief that he had a reasonable expectation that the comments could have been hidden under a bishop for decades before publication.

“I wish to apologise for the offensive remarks I made in relation to the Revenue Commissioners,” said Fr O’Donovan.

“I unreservedly withdraw what I said about them in relation to the timing of the publication of the list, the offensive allegation that they were responsible for suicides, the very intemperate tone and obscene language of my comments, and the statement that the Revenue Commissioners were inconsiderate and inhumane,” he added – it is not known who or what organisation in the world could be accused of such things, though a finger of suspicion does point at a small city state located somewhere in central Rome. Fr O’Donovan was further quoted as saying that he had never deliberately misled tax officials and was now “fully tax-compliant”. What a good egg!

Fr O’Donovan’s apology comes after the Archbishop of Cashel Dermot Clifford had earlier apologised to the Revenue Commissioners for the comments, which he called “unacceptable” At which point satire held up its hands, blessed itself quietly and left the building

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