DURING his ministry in Ardoyne, Fr Gary Donegan was at the very forefront of violence and conflict on a daily basis.
At the weekend, the Newtownbutler cleric was present at the Passionist Peace and Reconciliation Office, hosted by the John and Pat Hume Foundation, where Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney TD was the keynote speaker.
The event was shrouded in controversy when those attending had to be evacuated following a high-security alert, a bomb scare, believed to have been the responsibility of the UVF.
Issuing a statement about the incident on Facebook, Fr Gary Donegan strongly condemned those responsible for whose ‘message failed spectacularly’.
“Having welcomed all assembled, Minister [Simon] Coveney was addressing the crowd when I became aware that his close personal security detail were attempting to get my attention,” explains the Passionist priest.
“We quickly alerted him that a hijacked van had been driven into the grounds.
“The Minister was very calm and apologetic as security drove him away.”
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