Irish priest announced he is gay — and his congregation gave him a standing ovation

Father Martin Dolan declares support for gay marriage ahead of May referendum

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The Independent Online

An Irish priest received a standing ovation this week after telling his Catholic congregation he is gay, and declaring support for same-sex marriage.

Father Martin Dolan, who had served at the Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Dublin for 15 years, made the startling confession during Saturday night mass, and repeated it the next morning.

After announcing his support for same-sex marriage ahead of the Irish referendum to be held in May, Dolan told his parishioners: "I'm gay myself."

To that the congregation rose to their feet in applause, it has been reported.

Father Dolan is the parish's only priest.


Community youth worker Liz O’Connor told The Irish Sun: “We are all very proud of Father Martin. Because he has admitted that he is gay he doesn't change the person that he was before it.”

A source within the Catholic Church said: “He was just doing his service, it was part of his homily, and that’s it. If he feels strongly about something, Martin just says it."

The move has been celebrated by gay rights groups in Ireland, including Marriage Equality Ireland and the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, as the movement's big day at the polls beckons.

A referendum on legalising gay marriage in Ireland will be held in May, with polls indicating majority support for same-sex marriage — The Irish Times last month registered 71 per cent in favour.

Ireland's leader Enda Kenny backs a 'yes' vote, saying he "will canvass for it".

The Catholic church stands against gay marriage in Ireland, saying it would be a "grave injustice".