'Pastor husband slapped me but church members covered it up', wife tells court
The wife of a church leader has told the Family Court her husband slapped her in front of their children and a member of the church.
The pastor's wife, who lives with her children in a women's shelter, claimed members of her husband's church know about his violence but do nothing.
She said he should not be allowed to see his children until he "owns up" to his violence.
"I don't think he should be allowed access [to his children] because he has clearly stated he's not violent but I know he is," the woman told Dublin District Family Court yesterday.
She said the members of her husband's church know about his temper but they "cover it up... because he's their leader".
"I feel like I have no ear, that no one will listen to me. I'm on my own. No one wants to hear about it. It's like I have no voice," she added.
The woman said the pastor has assaulted her twice. On one occasion he hit her in a car park in front of their children and a member of his church, she alleged.
"He's stating he's a man of God. If you are slapping your partner in a car park in front of your children and you're still not admitting it, then there's a problem," she said.
The father has not seen his children for a number of months and was applying to the court for access to them.
His wife said their children would like to see him if he "sorts himself out".
"They still think highly of him and I'm sure if he sorts himself out they would like to see him, and I would like them to see him. But I would like to see some action and some owning up," she said.
The pastor told Judge John Lindsay that what his wife was saying was untrue.
"I believe God will be our judge. I'm not going to fight her. I just want to see my kids," he said.
Judge Lindsay granted the pastor an interim access order, giving him once weekly visits.