Details on paedophile priest ‘not passed on’

Concerns about a priest who was serial paedophile were not passed on to senior diocesan figures or to the authorities in the north west despite being known at a early stage.

A Kiltegan father, Peter Kennedy, spent time providing relief cover in the Achonry diocese in the early 1980s and during his stay he abused a young boy.

He was convicted this year of abusing 18 boys in different parts of the country during the 1970s and 1980s having spent 10 years on the run in Brazil.

Although he was not named in the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland report on the diocese his case was clearly referenced as that of Fr P, who was the subject of a diocesan apology in Jan 2012 following his extradition from Brazil.

In that case the NBSCCCI said there was strong circumstantial evidence that the diocese was aware of allegations since 1997 but did not pass this on to gardaí until 2002.

Meanwhile, two other priests who have retired to the Roscommon area from abroad moved here after allegations were made against them but these were not investigated by their home diocese.

Gardaí have been made aware of their presence and the diocese has set up new procedures for monitoring and registering visiting priests.

Bishop Brendan Kelly said the diocese would take the report on board and apologised for past failures.

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