Priest faces drink-drive al­le­ga­tion

Fr de­nies charge in court

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Kenny Smith

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

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