FENIT Harbour could be used as the starting point for what promises to be one of the most controversial voyages ever undertaken in Ireland, The Kingdom can reveal.

The tiny port, which was recently awarded a Blue Flag environmental award, is currently home to a 75-foot boat owned by controversial Tridentine Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael Cox.

The former trawler nicknamed "The Little Bishop" was purchased by the Bishop Cox to serve as a mobile floating church, offering on-board marriages and baptisms to people around the British Isles.

But news that a controversial "abortion boat", is planning to dock in Ireland in the coming weeks, has incurred the wrath of Bishop Cox, who declares that he will sail to meet the vessel and attempt to prevent it from landing in the country.

He declares that if he hears that the boat is on the way to Ireland, he will set sail from Fenit and block the hugely controversial boat as it attempts to dock on the East Coast.

"This is a murderous mission and if I ever get an inkling that they are coming to this country, I will be there to stop them," he fumed.

And Bishop Cox says he will be calling on all fishermen to join him on his voyage.

"I am calling on all fishermen of good conscience and all those with ships and boats to join me on this - abortion is murder as far as I am concerned," he added.

"I would be doing this whether or not I believed in God or not even then I would still be opposed to abortion," he stated.

"The Little Bishop" as his boat has been named is fully equipped for the high seas, replete with GPS, radar, echo sounder and auto pilot, and according to the outspoken clergyman, all it now needs is a liferaft, a fire extinguisher and a lick of paint.

"As soon as she is ready, I will pump her up with diesel, take on rations and water and set sail for the high seas," he confirmed.

Bishop Cox purchased the 75-foot boat built in 1945 from a local fisherman, Liam O Sullivan. The vessel had been used as a commercial fishing boat nearly all its life and its most recent name was "Ocean Gain 11".

When contacted by The Kingdom, the Birr-based Bishop confirmed that he would be travelling to Kerry in the next three weeks.

"I have been quite unwell of late and that is why I have not been around," he said.

"But either way I plan to visit Fenit in three weeks time and I will be there to receive anybody," he added.

The Bishop has already performed one baptism on his boat - the first, he claims, since the time of St. Brendan.

And "abortion boat" or not, the Bishop plans to motor from port to port around Ireland and Britain, offering his services.

"I want many Christians to come under my umbrella," he said. "I will be offering marriages and baptisms and I will do what I can when I can," he explained.


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