Ballycastle-born Cardinal Keith O’Brien dies aged 80

Cardinal Keith O'Brien
Cardinal Keith O'Brien

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, formerly the Catholic Church’s most senior cleric in Britain, has died in hospital after being injured in a recent fall.

The cardinal, who turned 80 on St Patrick’s Day, was originally from Ballycastle in Co Antrim.

He resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 2013 after being accused of sexual misconduct.

The cardinal had been in the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Newcastle, but was admitted to hospital in the city after a fall in which he is understood to have suffered a head injury.

He died in the early hours of this morning, the Catholic Church confirmed.

Commenting on the news of his death, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh said: “In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion.

“In death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.”