Kerry priest who shook hand of sex offender leaves parish

The priest who shook the hand and gave character evidence on behalf of a convicted sex offender has left his post of parish priest in Castlegregory.

Fr Séan Sheehy, who met Bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy this morning, had said yesterday he did not accept the unanimous verdict of a jury that found Danny Foley guilty of sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman in Listowel, Co Kerry, on June 15, 2008.

The priest said he had no regrets about shaking hands with Danny Foley of Meen in Listowel as the 35-year-old waited to be sentenced for his crime.

He felt there could have been a miscarriage of justice, adding juries had also been known to convict innocent people.

Fr Sheehy offered to withdraw from his work in the parish of Castlegregory in Kerry and the Bishop of Kerry accepted his offer which takes effect from today.

Bishop Murphy had earlier apologised to the victim, and paid tribute to her courage in coming forward.

Meanwhile, the National Women's Council today said the scenes witnessed in the court before the sentencing have no place "in civilised society".


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