THE parents and siblings of a man who was raped as a child by a priest, and in adulthood took his own life, have demanded that Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray step aside.
The family of Peter McCloskey, who while serving as an altar boy in the Caherdavin parish in 1980/’81 was raped by the late Fr Denis Daly, believe the Commission of Investigation should carry out an audit of the Limerick Diocese immediately.
“We believe this is of the utmost urgency” in the wake of the shocking findings of the Murphy Report, Peter McCloskey’s parents, Aidan and Mary, his brother Joseph and sister Aida stated yesterday. The family said they were “brokenhearted in the wake of so much human suffering”.
The publication of the Ryan report, and more recently the Murphy report concerning the Dublin Archdiocese, “has resonated deeply within our family. It crystallises for us, that Peter’s search for truth” was justified.
“The cover-up is endemic and countrywide in the Catholic Church,” the statement said.
The Murphy report had “sent ripples of pain into every parish community”.
Peter had come forward only to experience what the family termed “another form of abuse when he began processing his experience of childhood clerical sexual abuse, by bringing it to the attention of Dr Donal Murray and his team”.
The report, the McCloskey family pointed out, had “red flagged” Bishop Murray in particular “for his failures, and duty of care, to protect children while serving in Dublin”.
Dr Murray’s “modus operandi when dealing with child protection issues, and the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, cries out for an immediate audit.
“We testify that the reality of Peter’s experience, at the hands of Dr Donal Murray and his legal team, is not reflected in the public persona that Dr Murray portrays. Peter, once he encountered his advisers behind the closed doors of interviews, met a ‘wall of silence’ and ‘bullyboy tactics’,” the family allege.
“At this time, our desire is to be constructive,” and the family suggested that the policy of “stepping aside” from a priest’s ministry where there is even a suspicion, or any concern, of a child protection issue should apply it to all bishops, archbishops and cardinals.
“In light of the findings of the Murphy report, the ‘red flagged name’ of Dr Donal Murray warrants an immediate intervention by the Commission of Investigation. We believe this is of the utmost urgency... Sadly, the Murphy report has come too late for Peter.
“However, through the establishment of a formal audit in Limerick Diocese, the full facts of how Peter was treated will emerge in time.”
Peter died three years ago. His wife, Cathy, and 17-year-old daughter, Amy, have said they have received great support from Dr Murray since Peter’s death in 2006.
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