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Law

Hate preacher banned from spouting ‘homophobic nonsense’ after subjecting town to ‘unbearable’ hours-long rants

Patrick Kelleher September 4, 2020
Ireland Stephen Tallon Wexford preacher

Stephen Tallon (Facebook)

A judge ordered a “homophobic” street preacher to stop delivering sermons in a town centre after business owners complained about his conduct.

Stephen Tallon, 37, was instructed by Judge John Cheatle that he must stop delivering his street sermons in Wexford, Ireland, after numerous witnesses came forward to speak of the harm his words have caused.

Seven witnesses spoke at the court case, the Wexford People reported, which came about after local law enforcement authorities submitted an application to the courts to have Tallon banned form preaching in Wexford.

Witnesses accused Tallon of promoting homophobic, racist, sexist and anti-abortion views in his sermons, which were amplified with a loudspeaker and could last up to two hours.

Ireland’s police force, An Garda Síochána, told the court that they have been called about Tallon’s sermons around 21 times.

The preacher allegedly made numerous anti-LGBT+ remarks in his sermons. In his evidence, Garda Richie Murray said Tallon began reading a section from the Old Testament after a local man complained about his “homophobic nonsense”.

Businesses in Wexford, Ireland have been impacted by anti-LGBT+ street preacher Stephen Tallon.

A number of witnesses in the case said Tallon’s open-air sermons were driving customers away from their businesses.

Diana Donnelly, who runs a boutique store in the town, said Tallon “rants and raves and has no regard for sensitivities”. She said her heart sinks when she sees him.

Donnelly said she once smiled at Tallon, who quickly told her she had nothing to be smiling about, and told her she was going to hell.

Louise Carley, who works in a local shop, said his sermons were affecting her health, and claimed the situation had become “unbearable”.

“I seem to be constantly complaining about him. I have a hot line to the Garda station,” she said.

Other witnesses accused Tallon of telling a man that his weight made him a sinner, while another said he had referred to a group of women as “the whores of Babylon”.

The street preacher was also accused of saying that homosexuality is “unnatural”.

Tallon defended his actions, citing free speech, and claimed that people are “entitled to hear the gospel”.

Judge Cheatle ordered Tallon to “desist” and gave an order that will prohibit him from preaching in the town going forward.

 

More: Ireland, Stephen Tallon, Wexford

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