MARY McAleese will next to Catholic Emancipator & # 39; Daniel O & # 39; Connell to be ranked as history is written, the former TV3 journalist Ursula Halligan has claimed.
The former president was told yesterday to "go off the scene" and to stop "hogging the airwaves" with anti-church rhetoric by Independent TD Mattie McGrath.
In a protracted attack on McAleese, he claimed that she "used" her religion to get votes when walking to Áras an Uachtaráin and her repeated criticism "bordered on ridiculous".
The former president has recently become a division after a number of statements regarding the Catholic Church.
In particular she described the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), which Pope Francis brings to Ireland, as a "right-wing rally".
McAleese said it was designed to "gather people to motivate them to fight against the tide of gay marriages, homosexuals, abortion rights, contraception rights".
She also said that the Church needed "to step out of the current unsustainable doctrine that leads to the evil of homophobia".
In a documentary about RTÉ earlier this week, the mother of a homosexual son described how her family feels unwelcome in the Catholic Church.
In & # 39; Mary McAleese & # 39; s Modern Ireland Family & # 39; she told about her pain when airbrushing same-sex couples from promotional material for the papal visit.
Mr. McGrath, who met with the Pope at the Vatican yesterday, claimed that she had received too much air time from the media.
"If she wants to start her own church, do it, but just go away and let the people who want to enjoy the pope enjoy him.
"She was very pleased with the support of the Irish people, as she now calls them" standard Catholics "when she wanted to be elected, and she used them.
& # 39; If she wants to form her own church, let her do it. Get out of the stage, "said the Tipperary TD on Newstalk Radio.
Senator Rónán Mullen previously claimed that Ms. McAleese her presidential theme & # 39; Building Bridges & # 39; had left, and said she had offended hundreds of thousands of people who would see the weekend of Pope Francisthis.
Mr. Mullen believes that she is trying to feed a "drumming of negativity to the Pope's visit".
He claimed that "some prominent people have the feeling of chastising the Catholic Church without recognizing the tremendous power of goodness and love that the Church has been and still is."
Yesterday, however, Ursula Halligan said outside the WMOF that the ex-president had rendered the country a great service by drawing attention to the shortcomings in the Church's teaching on homosexuality.
Mrs. Halligan, a Catholic who came out as gay during the marriage referendum, said that Ms. McAleese had "been an excellent champion."
"She has inspired me all the way, I can not say enough about her, I think we will see her in the ranks of Daniel O & # 39; Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell over time," said Halligan.
"She has shown the courage I would like to show the pope, the right thing is always the loving thing to do." Mrs. Halligan said.
The former political journalist said that people should not see the debate as "a quarrel between left and right or extremes in the Church".
"It's about doing the right thing for real people.
"We are real, we are human, we bleed like everyone else, we have hearts, we love, that's all, please see us as human beings," she said.
She spoke during a "Rainbow Choir" protest and described some teachings of the Church as & # 39; destructive & # 39 ;.
"They are so damaging, anything that stifles love in a person is bad," Halligan said.