Deenihan on left with Okolo and Smith

The new bishop has sold developers a plot of land for more than €1million that had been gifted to the Church.

Ashbourne, Co. Meath, is where a man called Ned Nulty signed over land he owned close to Old Killegland graveyard to the diocese with the stipulation it was to be used only if the graveyard needed to be extended or priests need a new parochial house. But Deenihan has sold developers the land for more than €1million.

Mr Nulty died in 1998, aged 78, and is buried in Old Killegland cemetery. The land was zoned residential but in a submission to the Meath County Development Plan (CDP), five councillors proposed zoning the lands to open space with the intention of creating a public park there and when this motion was discussed it was voted through.

However on May 12, Deenihan disposed of it to a development company called Killegland Estates while it was still able to be built on. Angry locals only discovered this when a planning notice appeared on an entrance gate to the land earlier last week causing fury.

A sales document shows it sold for €1,050,000. The seller is named as St Finian’s Trust, a limited company which administers the affairs of the Diocese of Meath and has Bishop Deenihan listed as a director along with a number of priests in the diocese. The move sparked fury among politicians and parishioners as their village did not see a cent of the cash for the site that was left for their benefit.

Relatives of the late Mr Nulty still live in the area but did not want to comment on the sale. However, a source said: ‘I doubt they are happy over it, anyone who knew Ned would know he wanted the lands to be used for parish needs and I’d imagine he would have wanted any money from this sale to go the people of Ashbourne.’

Several of the councillors who wanted to use the lands to provide a park are furious. Fine Gael’s Suzanne Jamal said: ‘This has come out of the blue, it was land that was there for years and years and we applied for it to be zoned differently to serve the community needs.

‘We have no influence over the proposed application, I am just an ordinary Joe Soap, when this arises all I can do is make a submission expressing my feelings and supporting my constituents and I intend to do that.’

Aisling O’Neill, of Sinn Féin, said: ‘The church never built on it, so we as a group of five councillors put in for a green space for the community but the church is after selling it to the developers. My opinion is the developers should have been aware of the county development plan and aware of the community’s plans for that area so we are going to fight that planning application.’


If Mr Nulty left the land for an extended graveyard or the building of a parochial house then the land should have been used ONLY for those purposes.

Surely these instructions are the conditions of the will?

I think it is VERY HIGH HANDED and INDECENT of Deenihan to ride a horse abd coaches through the wishes of a deceased man with family still in the parish of Ashbourne.

But this is the kind of behaviour people have come to expect from Tom Deenihan.

There was a great sigh of relief when he left Cork – especially from the clergy of Cork and Ross.

Mind you, the clergy of Meath are generally a snobbish lot and maybe God has sent Deeniham to them as a penance?

During Francis’ visit to Ireland the retired bishop of Meath, Michael Smith, was standing in the foyer of a Dublin hotel and Deenihan was standing behind him. A parish priest of another diocese went over to Smith and said to him: “Your crucifixion is standing behind you”. Smith replied: ” I know”.

Come back John Charles. All is forgiven!