Woman says sorry to priest over false sex abuse claims

A woman has apologised in the High Court to a priest she falsely accused of abusing her.

The court was told Eileen Culloty, who lives beside the presbytery in Currow, Killarney, Co Kerry, wrote a letter to the Bishop of Kerry in which she made untrue allegations against Fr Liam O’Brien. She repeated the allegations to the Garda, HSE, and Personal Injury Assessment Board.

She had also disrupted a funeral Mass at which the priest was officiating.

Yesterday, she apologised in a letter read out in court and undertook never to repeat the false allegations.

Robert Dore, solicitor for Fr O’Brien, who is based in Killorglin, Co Kerry, said the priest had agreed not to further pursue his action for damages for defamation against Ms Culloty on the basis of the letter of apology.

Fr O’Brien had also sought orders restraining her from watching, besetting, and harassing him over the false allegations which, he said, were damaging and interfered with his peace, privacy, and wellbeing.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne agreed to a request from Mr Dore to adjourn the matter generally — which means it can come back before the court if there are any further incidents.

In the apology written to Fr O’Brien, Ms Culloty said she wished to put on record the allegations she made in the letter to the bishop in Dec 2008, and verbally later to others, never had any basis or truth.

“I wish to categorically also put on record that you never acted inappropriately towards me, or any member of my family, in any way whatever, either sexually, physically, verbally, psychologically, or otherwise,” she said.

She unreservedly apologised and undertook that neither she nor anyone else on her behalf would make such allegations.

She also apologised for an incident on Feb 8, 2011, when she disrupted a funeral Mass in Currow at which Fr O’Brien was the celebrant.

She accepted Fr O’Brien was a priest of the utmost integrity and he never behaved in any incorrect way.

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