AN outspoken cleric has thrown his mitre into the ring for the forthcoming election. Rebel Catholic priest and bishop, Michael Patrick Cox is set to run in the Laois-Offaly constituency, where he feels he is “in touch with the people on the ground”.
Bishop Cox of the Tridentine order is best known for ordaining singer Sinead O’Connor as a priest in 1999, and in keeping with his unorthodox views, the Offaly cleric has promised that his religion will not interfere with his political aspirations.
“I’m sure people are asking, ‘what’s a clergyman doing running for election?’” Bishop Cox admitted this week to the Leinster Express. “But I’m well known in the Laois-Offaly constituency and I’ve done a lot of work with the poor and the sick. The people of this area won’t hold my religion against me.”
Prioritising health, education and housing, the bishop said that “the state of the nation is not at all good”.
“We need to renegotiate the banking loan and bring those responsible to heel, to ease the burden on the people of Ireland who have been nearly taxed and levied out of existence. Why should ordinary people being paying heavily for the mistakes of others?”
Bishop Cox said it was time to “put party rhetoric to one side” and bring genuine people together for the common good.
“We need to get everyone together and have no more one-upmanship, we have to do what’s best for Ireland. It will take more than one man.”
Bishop Cox is relying more on word of mouth than canvassing to get his message to the people. His campaign team comprises of his agent, Michael Morrissey and secretary, Mary Butler.
“On my word, I promise the people of Laois-Offaly I will work hard,” Bishop Cox said. “Even if not elected, I will still continue my good work.”