October 25, 2005

Ferns bishops 'failed to protect children from predatory priests'


By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
(Filed: 26/10/2005)

The Roman Catholic Church was rocked yesterday by a report which claimed that 21 priests carried out more than 100 sexual assaults on children over four decades.

An investigation into one of the Church's most serious under-age sex scandals found that two bishops had failed to do enough to protect young boys and girls from priests.

One priest was responsible for 26 assaults, said the report into the behaviour of clergymen in Ferns, Co Wexford.

Another priest, Canon Martin Clancy, who died in 1993, had a secret child after raping a 14-year-old girl, who he had abused since she was 11.

The two-and-a-half year Irish Government inquiry revealed that police attempts to investigate the allegations were inadequate and also criticised the health board.

A total of 100 abuse claimants were interviewed for retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy's report, which was commissioned after a 2002 BBC documentary Suing the Pope claimed there had been systematic child abuse in the diocese. Eight of the priests have died.

Posted by kshaw at October 25, 2005 11:15 PM