Family Talk to Scandal Priest

By Marion Scott
The Sunday Mail
February 12, 2006

THE family of runaway priest Roddy MacNeil last night admitted they were still in touch with him.

Catholic Church officials have said they are unable to contact the priest dubbed Father Flash following revelations of affairs with at least two parishioners - including his cousin Hilda Robertson, 41, who is carrying his child.

They have also confirmed they are investigating financial affairs at his parish on the Hebridean island of Barra.

But yesterday, his family admitted they were still able to contact the 46-year-old priest.

His sister Michelle Gray, who helps run the family-owned Burnside chip shop and garage, confirmed she was now in touch with her brother.

While refusing to answer questions about the financial investigation, she said: "I will pass the concerns on to him."

The island is reeling from a series of sensational stories involving the priest.

They include not only a love child expected in the summer but allegations that he has been on holiday with a 22-year-old girl, Jennifer Gilbert.

On Friday, church officials insisted they were still trying to contact MacNeil, although islanders claim he has been seen on South Uist in the last three days.

Meanwhile, Hilda Robertson's estranged husband James said he wanted to say silent on the priest's affair with his wife.

He said: "We split up over a year ago and we went sour long before the priest came on the scene."


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