REVEALED: CROOKED BISHOP CONDUCTED SHAM MARRIAGES IN DONEGAL

first_imgGuilty: Pat BuckleyA CROOKED bishop convicted of carrying out illegal marriages conducted three of the sham ceremonies here in Donegal, we can reveal.Pat Buckley, who is 61, was excommunicated by the Catholic Church more than a decade ago and now operates an independent church. He was given a suspended jail term after he admitted his involvement in sham marriages when he appeared in court in Belfast.Buckley, of Princes Gardens, Larne, was given a three and a half year jail sentence, suspended for three years after admitting 14 charges of conspiracy to defraud.He performed marriage ceremonies between illegal immigrants from Asia and Portugese women. He charged €400 plus expenses and conducted three of the marriages here in County Donegal.Sentencing him, the judge told him: “What you did was wrong. You committed a series of serious crimes which you did for a financial reward.”“Nothing can disguise the fact that you, as someone who professed to be a man of God and who should have been setting an example to others of how to behave, let yourself down, let your ministry down and betrayed the trust of all those to whom you should have been providing leadership and guidance.“The loss of your reputation is bound to have hit you hard.”An organised crime detective said the sentencing marked the culmination of an investigation that “spanned three continents and has lasted over four years”.“This investigation uncovered the systematic abuse of the EU immigration system in which criminals, some from a professional background, provided false documentation for work permits,” said PSNI detective Andrea McMullan.Speaking after his sentencing, Buckley said he felt a “strong sense of compassion for those who must live outside the EU in profound poverty and appalling circumstances”.“I am glad that the judge and the prosecution accept that I have provided solace to the outcasts and that my door is always open to the downtrodden.“I am sorry for allowing my compassion to bring me to the point of breaking the law – the laws that our society agree upon.“I did not intend to offend my fellow citizens, but I accept that I have, and again for that I want to say that I am sorry.”REVEALED: CROOKED BISHOP CONDUCTED SHAM MARRIAGES IN DONEGAL was last modified: December 22nd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BishopconvictedcrookPat Buckleylast_img

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