October 26, 2005

Diocese had insurance against abuse claims

Irish Examiner

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
BISHOP Brendan Comiskey purchased an insurance policy in 1989 to protect the diocese of Ferns against liability arising from sexual abuse claims despite the fact he repeatedly failed to adequately deal with allegations of abuse against numerous priests.

It was one of a number of similar policies purchased by most diocese in 1998 and 1999 after the then Archbishop of Dublin consulted legal advisors on the potential liability arising from incidents of child sex abuse.

The advice, first received in 1986, was that any bishop would be liable for negligence if he failed to act on knowledge a priest was, or was likely abusing children.

According to the Ferns report the advice, circulated to all bishops in Ireland, said “a bishop would have a duty in law to withdraw such a priest from his duties in the event of an investigation showing there was a basis for the complaint made”.

Posted by kshaw at October 26, 2005 10:03 PM