Newry couple who say priest won't marry them due to abortion views go public

Newry couple Kevin McAteer and Shaunagh Griffin, who say they cannot get a Catholic priest to marry them due to Mr McAteer's pro-abortion views
Seanin Graham

THIS is the Co Down couple at the centre of a row over whether Catholics who are pro-choice can marry in a Catholic church.

Newry man Kevin McAteer (32) and his fiancée Shaunagh Griffin (36) yesterday released the picture, days after anonymously revealing that a priest warned he could not marry them if Mr McAteer continued to "promote" his stance in support of abortion.

Fr Damien Quigley, from the Parish of Middle Killeavy, reportedly told the couple he couldn't "officiate at the ceremony" after Mr McAteer expressed his support of the Republic's landslide Referendum vote on abortion.

Speaking to the BBC's Nolan show, the Co Down man claimed Fr Quigley had accessed his Facebook page where he had posted his pro-choice views.

He added that his fiancee was pro-life.

Archbishop Eamon Martin is to be contacted over the marriage row

In a statement released last night, the couple said they still had "no priest or church" for their wedding, adding: "We feel the church is discriminating against us because we are not following them. However, we feel that everyone has a right to an opinion and that although 66 per cent voted in favour of the yes campaign...does that mean they will be denied marriage in a Catholic church as well?

"Furthermore how will our children be affected. Will they be unable to get baptised in the church now that one of their parents is pro choice?"

The couple have made a complaint to Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin and have also contacted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to outline their concerns.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar supported repeal in last month's abortion referendum


Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access