Minister criticised over Reynolds remarks

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has been criticised for comments he made following the broadcast of a defamatory 'Prime Time Investigates' programme about Fr Kevin Reynolds.

In a statement following the broadcast, Minister Shatter said he had watched the programme with a sense of revulsion at the unspeakable catalogue of abuse against children that was revealed.

He said he shared the public concern and disgust at the revelations and said there was a duty to do all without our power to ensure the perpetrators of this predatory abuse of children are brought to justice.

RTÉ subsequently made a full apology to Fr Reynolds, having admitted the claims made in the programme were unfounded, and last week agreed a substantial settlement.

Solicitor Robert Dore, who acts on behalf of Fr Reynolds, today said it is not clear if the Minister's comments have ever been withdrawn.

"I think it was rash of the Minister, in particular a minister with a legal background, to come out with such statements," Mr Dore said.

"I think they were rash and premature, and I don't know if the Minister has ever withdrawn his comments insofar as they may have related to Fr Reynolds."

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