November 18, 2005

‘Outside’ priests were excluded from Ferns investigation

New Ross Echo

The catalogue of abuse drawn up by the Ferns inquiry of over 100 allegations of clerical sexual abuse against children by priests operating within the Diocese of Ferns could have run into far greater numbers had the Inquiry investigated all of the clergy operating within the Diocese.

Speaking at a public meeting held on Thursday night, founder of One in Four, Mr. Colm O’ Gorman spoke of the frustration of many victims of abuse who contacted the organisation in 2002 on learning that the Ferns Inquiry had interpreted one of its terms of reference in a way that excluded from investigation a number of the religious operating within the diocese.

Addressing some 19 people who attended the meeting in the Talbot Hotel in Wexford, Mr. O’ Gorman said that the Ferns Inquiry’s interpretation of the words ‘operating under the aegis of the Diocese’ had excluded religious orders, seminarians and priests ordained outside the parish from investigation.

“There’s a term of reference in it,” said Mr. O’ Gorman, “that says the inquiry is to investigate complaints, allegations and suspicions of clerical sex abuse made against priests operating under the aegis of the diocese of Ferns.

Posted by kshaw at November 18, 2005 09:37 AM