Former priest seeks appeal to his sentence for paying to have his nephew intimidated

Francis Kelleher, with an address in Cork city, asked a member of the Continuity IRA to threaten his nephew

A former priest has moved to appeal his four year sentence for paying dissident republicans to intimidate his nephew.

Francis Kelleher, with an address in Cork city, admitted approaching a member of the Continuity IRA four years ago.

In June 2012, Niall Kelleher’s teenage son answered the door to three men who were looking for his father. He wasn’t in so they went to his workplace at Innishannon, Co Cork where they told him they were from the Continuity IRA and warned him to withdraw a statement he had made against his uncle.

The threats continued right up until the following January when a man told him over the phone he'd been paid a lot of money to take care of him.

Francis Kelleher, who was a hospital chaplain at the time, later admitted paying €4,000 for his nephew to be intimidated.

Before jailing him for four years last April, Judge Sean O'Donnabhain described his actions as going against the very foundation of justice.

In his appeal today, his barrister accused the judge of not giving enough weight to mitigating factors like his admissions and the profound effect the crime has had on his own life.

The three-judge panel said they would need time to consider his case.