The Association of Catholic Priests has said it supports Ballyconnell parish priest Fr Oliver O'Reilly for taking a "very brave" stance against those behind attacks on Quinn Industrial Holdings executives.

Spokesperson Roy Donovan said that Fr Oliver O'Reilly has shown a lot of courage and bravery in speaking out about a situation that is very dangerous.

The association's words of support come as it emerged that one of Fr O'Reilly's parishoners, business man Seán Quinn, has written to the Vatican to complain about one of his homilies.

The Sunday Independent newspaper reported that Seán Quinn penned the letter to senior figures in the Vatican, including the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Cardinal Beniamino Stella. 

The letter was also sent to Fr O'Reilly himself and Monsignor Liam Kelly, who is the administrator of the Kilmore diocese.

In the letter, Mr Quinn again denied having any "hand, act or part" in the recent attack on Quinn Industrial Holding Executive Kevin Lunney.

It says that he and his family have been "frightened and intimidated by being falsely accused of complicity in the attack from the altar in public, by my own priest".

A homily delivered by Fr Oliver O'Reilly back in September did not name anyone.

In it, he referred to a "paymaster", which Mr Quinn's letter says is a "clear and false reference" to him.

He called on both Fr O'Reilly and Monsignor Kelly to "publicly correct" the comments directly, but also called for the support of the Vatican, asking for its protection from what he called the "misuse of the liturgy and the priesthood".

When contacted by RTÉ News, Fr Oliver O'Reilly declined to make any comment.