October 28, 2005

40 claims of abuse against 29 priests

Belfast Telegraph

By Sarah Brett

28 October 2005
Around 40 child sex abuse allegations have been made against 26 priests in the Derry diocese over the last 50 years - and around 13 of those are still working in the Catholic Church.

In an unprecedented move to allay fears after the findings of the Ferns report into child sex abuse in Co Wexford, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Seamus Hegarty held a press conference yesterday to reveal the findings of investigations in his diocese.

To protect the identities of priests and victims, the Bishop said he would not be naming any of the men involved in the allegations, nine of whom are now dead.

Reaction to the revelations has been mixed. Many priests commended Bishop Hegarty for his transparent approach, but victim support group Voice of the Faithful called it "glossy" and "lacking in detail".

Only one priest from the Derry diocese has been imprisoned in the last 50 years, Father Gerard McCallion, who worked in Creggan in the late 1980s. Another priest was prosecuted on charges of child sex abuse but later acquitted.

Posted by kshaw at October 28, 2005 07:48 AM