Ex-Cloyne priest quizzed on sex abuse

GARDAÍ are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions after interviewing a retired priest about two allegations of sexual abuse.

The priest, who is in his 70s, was questioned by detectives after he voluntarily went to Mallow Garda station in County Cork to be interviewed about the allegations made by two women.

They separately made claims to gardaí a couple of months ago that they had been sexually abused by the priest.

One of the women alleged that the retired priest abused her when she was in her teens, while the other woman alleged the abuse took place when she was in her 20s.

In both cases the women said they were abused in the early 1970s.

It is understood that detectives interviewed the priest for more than five hours at Mallow Garda station.

The interview took place last Thursday.

A Garda source said on foot of the interview a file would now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

These are the latest in a series of allegations made against priests who were serving in the Diocese of Cloyne.

Bishop John Magee, who was criticised over his handling of an investigation into alleged abuse, resigned from day-to-day running of the diocese on March 7.

Bishop Magee was criticised in a report published last December by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.

Bishop Magee is now cooperating with the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating alleged child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne.

The day-to-day running of the Diocese of Cloyne has been taken over by Dr Dermot Clifford, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.

The latest Garda investigation into allegations of abuse in the diocese came just hours after Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told shocked parishioners at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin that it’s likely thousands of children and young people were abused by priests from the mid-1970s to 2000.

“The horror of that abuse was not recognised for what it is,” Archbishop Martin said.


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