October 31, 2005

Ferns Report to rock church

Sunday Business Post

23 October 2005 By Kieron Wood
The leaders of the Catholic Church in Ireland are bracing themselves for an unprecedented onslaught of criticism following the publication of the long-awaited Ferns Report this week. The report, by retired Supreme Court judge Frank Murphy, will be presented to the cabinet on Tuesday.

Two years ago, former health minister Micheál Martin asked Murphy to identify any allegations of abuse made against clergy in the Wexford diocese of Ferns before April 10, 2002, and to assess the response of the Church authorities and Gardai.

The former bishop of Ferns, Brendan Comiskey, had resigned in 2002 over his handling of complaints against Fr Sean Fortune.

The Ferns priest committed suicide in 1999 shortly before he was due to be tried on 29 charges of abusing eight boys.

It wasn't the first time that Comiskey had been involved in controversy. In 1995 he checked into a clinic in the US to receive treatment for alcoholism.

The following year, during a Mass in Enniscorthy Cathedral, he insisted that “wild, sensational and totally unfounded allegations that I would sacrifice the innocence of a child to protect some drinking buddy - or any other buddy - is particularly vile, untrue and cruel'‘.

Posted by kshaw at October 31, 2005 02:15 PM