Bishop McKeown 'lost plot' says DUP leader Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson Peter Robinson claimed Bishop McKeown had 'somewhat lost the plot'

Related Stories

First Minister Peter Robinson has said that Catholic Bishop Donal McKeown has "somewhat lost the plot".

Bishop McKeown said the DUP leader had implied the Catholic Church was blocking moves on integrated education.

The bishop said the DUP's stance was perceived as "nakedly sectarian" by the Catholic community.

But Mr Robinson said: "How anybody who is looking for shared education can be seen to be sectarian is beyond me and beyond everyone else."

In an interview for Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence, Bishop McKeown claimed that Mr Robinson had suggested that "certain vested interests, by implication the Catholic Church, were the ones who were blocking movements towards that (integrated education)".

"That certainly was perceived in the Catholic community as nakedly sectarian - talking about reconciliation, but ultimately saying the fault is with the Catholics, they really are the ones who are to blame and, specifically, the Catholic Church," the bishop added.

"I suppose at the present time, kicking the Catholic Church really won't lose you too many votes in many places."

Bishop McKeown is not the first senior clergyman in the Catholic Church to criticise Mr Robinson's stance on integrated education.

In 2010, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, said the DUP leader had created "distrust and suspicion" by describing the Northern Ireland education system as a "benign form of apartheid".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories


Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents

  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.