Ireland's turbulent priest

Pat Buckley is one of the north's most high-profile and controversial clerics.

Born in tullamore, Co Offaly, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and became a curate at St Peter's Cathedral in west Belfast two years later.

He clashed with the late Cardinal Cathal Daly in the early 1980s and was moved to Kilkeel, Co Down, in 1983. The following year, he was moved to Larne in Co antrim. In 1986 he was suspended from the priesthood. However, he continued to live in the Larne presbytery.

In 1998 Buckley was consecrated as a 'bishop' by controversial cleric Martin Cox at a private ceremony. Cox, who also ordained singer Sinead O'Connor in 1999, said he was ordained a priest by a Vietnamese tridentine bishop in 1978. These consecrations are regarded as "valid but unlawful" by the Catholic Church.

Both bishops were also considered excommunicated from the Church.

In October 1999 Buckley publicly confirmed he is gay. He became known for marrying people who are divorced and want to wed again in a church service. A larger than life figure, Buckley has given several interviews and made frequent media appearances.

In 2000 Buckley told RTE radio host Marian Finucane that he illegally obtained methadone for a Dublin heroin addict he was trying to help.

In 2009 he asked the Land Registry that he be given squatters' rights to the Larne presbytery, where members of his Oratory congregation gather to worship. A settlement over the presbytery was reached last year.

Buckley is actively involved in the lesbian and gay community. He conducts same-sex blessings and holds spiritual seminars for gays and lesbians.

In 2010 he entered into a civil partnership with his younger partner, Eduardo Yango, who is from the Philippines. The following year, The Irish News reported that Bishop Buckley was to face prosecution in connection with alleged sham marriages between 2004 and 2009. the allegations - which Bishop Buckley's solicitor said he denied "unreservedly" - involved more than a dozen marriages in which foreign nationals sought to obtain EU citizenship.

In 2012 a judge ruled should stand trial in connection with the allegations.

* CONTROVERSIAL: Above, former Catholic priest Pat Buckley, as a Tridentine bishop, 'ordains' Mother Francis. Far right, singer Sinead O'Connor was ordained as a priest by the same cleric who ordained Buckley a bishop. Right, Buckley with his civil partner Eduardo Yango