Priest faces drink-drive allegation
Fr denies charge in court
The acting priest at a Cambuslang church appeared in court this week on a drink driving charge.
Father James O’Kane (42), from Glasgow, who has been acting as administrator of St Bride’s, was stopped by police in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It is understood he was stopped by police at 1.40am.
He was asked to provide a breath test, but refused, and was arrested under Section 7-6 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as “a person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to provide a specimen when required to do so in pursuance of this section is guilty of an offence.”
Fr O’Kane appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday, where he entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.
An intermediate trial date was set for October 6, with his trial set for October 28.
A Scottish Catholic Media Office spokesman was unavailable to comment on the matter.
However, one parishoner, who asked not to be named, told the Reformer: “When he didn’t say Mass on Sunday, I’d just assumed he was unwell.
“It’s a bit of a surprise to hear this.”
Another added: “I have never known him to miss Mass as I think he still is trying to run two parishes, which is a hard job.”
Fr O’Kane has been administrator at St Bride’s after Father Paul Morton was suspended last year, following an allegation of historic sexual abuse.
The Reformer revealed earlier this year that the police had ended their investigation, saying there was no charge to be brought against Fr Morton.
Par i s h i o n e r s have been urging the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal, to allow Fr Morton to return to them since then.
Charge Father James O’Kane has been administrator at St Bride’s Parish Church