October 26, 2005

Confession a nightmare for 10 girls

Belfast Telegraph

Fergus Black

26 October 2005
Confession should have been a solemn occasion for the young girls in the Wexford parish of Monageer.

But as they knelt on the altar, they were subjected to a litany of abuse at the hands of their parish priest, Fr James Grennan.

Their horrific story emerged in 1988 when 10 girls aged 12 to 13 alleged to their school principal, Pat Higgins, that they had been sexually molested by Fr Grennan while he heard their confessions on the altar in the parish church of Monageer.

It was the first recorded allegation of child sexual abuse by a member of the diocesan clergy dealt with by the gardai.

But local Bishop Brendan Comiskey dismissed the girls' allegations and this was compounded weeks later when Fr Grennan appeared on the church altar for Confirmation with the bishop at his side.

After their sensational allegations, seven of the girls were later interviewed by Dr Geraldine Nolan, director of the newly established 'Validation Unit' in Waterford in the South Eastern Health Board.

Posted by kshaw at October 26, 2005 08:12 AM