October 25, 2005

Church savaged over sexual abuse



CATHOLIC priests savagely sexually assaulted youngsters in Ireland during the past 40 years, including one who molested ten girls on the altar as he heard their confessions, a scathing report into clerical abuse revealed yesterday.

A two-year investigation into abuse at parishes across Co Wexford uncovered 100 complaints against 21 priests, with one responsible for 26 assaults.

The Ferns report revealed that Garda investigations were wholly inadequate, while bishops in the diocese of Ferns failed to take basic precautions to protect children.

The report revealed that one priest, Father James Grennan, fondled and kissed ten girls aged 12 and 13 in the parish church in Monageer as he called them up one by one to forgive their sins. As he sat on a chair in front of each girl preparing to abuse them, the rest of the class was forced to sit in their seats with their eyes shut.

Another priest fathered a secret child after raping a 14-year-old girl and left money for her in his will, the report said.

Canon Martin Clancy began abusing the girl aged 11 after a music concert while he was in Co Wexford in 1971. The Ferns Inquiry report said that the girl, named only as Ciara, went to England in 1974. She gave birth to a child, known as Rachel, but did not initially identify the father of her child to her parents.

Posted by kshaw at October 25, 2005 11:20 PM