A senior minister in the Church of Ireland has announced he is in a civil partnership.

Rev Tom Gordon Dean of Leighlin Cathedral, Co Carlow, said he had the ceremony in July with his partner of more than 20 years.

According to the Irish Times, this is thought to be the first civil partnership for a serving Church of Ireland minister.

There are a number of Church of England clergy in civil partnerships, but the issue remains controversial.

Last month, a minister at a Scottish church announced she was planning to have a civil partnership.

One church elder has already resigned over Reverend Lynn Brady’s announcement and there have been calls for her to resign.