Page last updated at 06:24 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 07:24 UK

Cardinal home after health scare

Cardinal Brady
Cardinal Brady has lead the Catholic Church in one of its most difficult times

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, has been discharged from hospital after becoming ill during a church ceremony.

An ambulance was called for the cardinal who was officiating at a confirmation in Kildress, County Tyrone, at about 1700 BST on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old remained conscious throughout.

After being told by doctors to rest at home, he thanked Craigavon hospital staff for their "kindness and care".

"I am also grateful for the prayerful support and good wishes that I have received," he added.


Fr Patrick Hughes, parish priest of Kildress, said Cardinal Brady began feeling weak towards the end of the ceremony.

Up to six members of the congregation came to the cardinal's aid as he began feeling unwell, including a number of nurses.

Fr Hughes, who had to finish the Mass, said the cardinal was placed on the ground "but he remained conscious at all times".

Cardinal Brady has been Catholic primate of all-Ireland since 1996.

The past year has been the most difficult of his time in charge as he has faced the fall-out from two major reports into child sex abuse in the Irish church.

It emerged last month that Cardinal Brady was present when children signed vows of silence over allegations against a paedophile priest in 1975.

He has since admitted he was part of a culture which put avoiding scandal above bringing clerical child abusers to justice.

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