Decision on defrocked priest’s appeal due in 2015

A decision is likely early next year on an appeal by a Cork priest into a secret Church court’s decision to defrock him for the serial sexual abuse of minors and teenagers.

As part of the appeal, the Cloyne priest, Dan Duane, aged 76, was invited to Rome by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to outline his objections to the diocese’s decision. He is not obliged to attend.

He was the subject of 11 complaints of abuse and three years ago, Cork Circuit Criminal Court directed that he be found not guilty of indecently assaulting a teenager.

The judge made the direction on the grounds of the 30-year delay in making the complaint.

A month later, Duane was found not guilty of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl 31 years earlier.

However, a year later, a secret canonical court set up by the Cloyne diocese's former administrator, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dermot Clifford, and which had heard from a number of his victims, ruled he should be forced to stand down as a priest. The same diocese has issued apologies and settled civil cases with at least five of his victims.

In its judgment last March, the canonical court “reached the decision with moral certainty” that the priest had sexually abused minors and teenagers and that he “should be dismissed from the clerical state”. They said this was not a recommendation but a decision.

Immediately, Duane, from Mallow, appealed the decision to the Apostolic Signature and the Pope, as he believed his defence was not “properly taken into account”.

At the canonical hearing, three priests — two clerical canon lawyers and a notary — assessed the evidence given by the victims. All involved had to sign an oath of secrecy.

The canon law court then drew up its report and its recommendations were sent to the Vatican.


Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner