An investigation into how a Catholic priest managed to project pornographic gay images to a room of primary school parents instead of a presentation on Holy Communion has been hindered by the theft of the laptop from his home.

The Irish Times reports this morning that the Archdiocese of Armagh’s investigation into Father Martin McVeigh has run into difficulty after the computer he used at the presentation was stolen.

The laptop was the only item taken from his house and Northern Ireland’s police force has launched a public call for help in finding it.

26 parents of pupils St Mary’s School in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone had attended a meeting last month where they expected the priest to give a presentation on instructions for Holy Communion.

Instead, when he inserted the memory stick into the laptop, graphic images of men appeared.

A statement issued by the parents present said Father McVeigh was “visibly shaken and flustered” after the Powerpoint presentation went awry, and he “bolted” from the room.

The parents said they were left “horrified and distracted” by the incident, but confirmed no minors had seen the display.

“Twenty minutes later he returned, he continued with the meeting and wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the church.”

The Archdiocese later announced it would launch an investigation into the incident. Father McVeigh said the memory stick was used by others in the parish and he had no knowledge of the images contained within it.

The Irish Times reports that the future of the inquiry has been doubted with the laptop missing.