A WOMAN who was subjected to 10 years of horrific sexual abuse by a priest has spoken of her anguish at the Church’s refusal to give her a written apology or offer her counselling.
She also expressed grave concerns about the Diocese of Clogher’s implementation of child protection guidelines as the accused priest was, reportedly, not removed from the board of management of a local school and still officiated at Holy Communions — despite serious allegations being made to gardaí.
Five years after an initial garda complaint against a Co Monaghan priest, a civil case was settled on the steps of the High Court last November.
Just two days ago, the Conference of Bishops issued a paper outlining their commitment to “the journey of renewal” and the repair of “the breach of trust” caused by the Church’s role in covering up clerical abuse.
In the Clogher case, the victim had repeatedly asked the diocese for a written apology but the diocese refused.
Instead, she claims, she was given a “small sum of compensation after a lot of bullying tactics”.
Last night, she said she felt “very let down and hurt” by the way she was treated: “I was told there was no way I would receive an apology and if I didn’t accept the compensation, they would drag me through the courts. They played bullying tactics all the way.
“An apology was always my priority and I had always specifically asked for that. However, they refused to show remorse. I was offered no help or support from the diocese, just utter disregard.
“With all the investigations that have gone on, they have still learnt nothing. By not giving me an apology they wanted me to be part of the cover-up.”
The woman was reportedly abused from the mid- 70s to the mid-80s.
She lodged a garda complaint against the priest in 2006. Within a year, she was told the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided not to prosecute and she began civil proceedings against the diocese. A spokesman for the diocese was unavailable for comment.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved