Tony Flannery (born 1947) is a member of the Redemptorist congregation, a native of Attymon, near Athenry in County Galway, Ireland. He is the youngest of five children, the eldest of whom died at three years of age. His mother, Maisie, who died in 1995, was a teacher in her early life, and after marriage she worked as a seamstress. His father, Paddy, worked in the local Bord na Mona bog, and they also worked a small farm. Tony joined the Redemptorists at the age of seventeen in 1964, and was ordained a priest ten years later, in 1974. He spent his priestly life as a preacher of missions, novenas and retreats, mostly around Ireland. He has written a number of books, and numerous articles in a variety of publications, both religious and secular. For about fourteen years he contributed a regular column for the Redemptorist magazine, Reality. Three years ago Tony was part of the group that founded the Association of Catholic Priests, and he continues to act as one of the Leadership Team.
In 2012 it was brought to his attention that the Vatican objected to some of his articles in Reality magazine. He was summoned to Rome by the Superior General of the Redemptorists, and this began a long process which culminated in him being forbidden to minister as a priest, a situation that continues to this day. He has written a full account of his dealings with the Vatican in his latest book, A Question of Conscience.
He is under instruction from his religious authorities to remain silent, but in early 2013 he decided to ignore that stricture and go public. Since then he has been active in the reform movement around the world, and is currently giving a series of talks around the country entitled Repairing a Damaged Church.