The Auxilliary Bishop of Dublin, Eamonn Walsh, has spoken in support of Al Porter stating that he hopes the comedian will soon “feel free and welcome to make us laugh again”.
Bishop Walsh, who is also a barrister, called for more compassion before jumping to judgments stating, “May heads on plates be off the menu in 2018.”
Eamonn Walsh has responsibility for Tallaght, the parish which Al Porter is from.
He said that he hoped that 2018 would be the year that “we allow justice to take its course, and not usurp it through public condemnation, humiliation and sentence without trial”.
He added: “May the darkness that was visited on our local comedian before justice to all could be processed be replaced with balance, proper proportion and fair play so he may feel free and welcome to make us laugh again.”
The sermon was given in a number of churches as a part of his Christmas and New Years message, one of the members of the congregation was Porter’s mother, who is a parish secretary.
A source told Dublin Live: “The church applauded and consoled Marian, who was crying at the end of it.”
Four performers have come out against the Blind Date presenter, alleging that Porter has been engaged in inappropriate behaviour, reports The Times UK.
In one instance, the well known gay comedian has been accused of groping an employee named Davey Reilly.
Reilly has appeared on RTÉ, BBC, and MTV television shows.
Reilly, 27, said that Porter’s behaviour was an “open secret” in the entertainment industry in Ireland, with Reilly claiming that Porter touched him beneath his underwear on two separate occasions.
Davey Reilly took to Twitter this morning to respond to the Bishop’s sentiments, stating: “Considering the subject matter, I really would have expected the church to stay quiet on this one.”
Considering the subject matter, I really would have expected the church to stay quiet on this one. https://t.co/jhUgtnyOOe
— Davey Reilly (@DaveyReilly) January 2, 2018
In light of the allegations, Porter has reportedly lost €500,000 in revenue.
He has taken time away from the spotlight, TV3 has cancelled Blind Date which he hosted, he has resigned from his lunchtime radio talk show on Today FM and he was replaced by Rory Cowan as “Polly” in the Olympia Panto.
He made his first public appearance since the allegations while attending a full dress rehearsal the Thursday before opening night.
Porter continued to work on the panto in a writer’s capacity alongside Karl Spain. It has been reported, however, that Karl Spain is the only one getting a writer’s credit.
A source told the Sunday World, “He met members of the cast and wished them well. Al sat through the rehearsal and seemed to enjoy it.”
Rory Cowan has tweeted in support of Bishop Eamonn Walsh’s comments saying: “Well said Bishop Eamonn Walsh. It needed to be said.”
“May 2018 be the year that we allow justice take its course and not usurp it through public condemnation, humiliation and sentence without trial. May heads on plates be off the menu in 2018”. Well said Bishop Eamonn Walsh. It needed to be said. pic.twitter.com/Hu6WktXmC7
— Rory Cowan (@1rorycowan) December 26, 2017
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