Dr Walsh said the Dublin inquiry was a sample, with the pattern the same as in the previous Ferns inquiry.
“I would much prefer that we implemented the recommendations and put in place civil and legislative structures to live up to what we have found, but we could spend the next 15 years going around the country when we’d be far better using our time, energy and money in consolidating our Church- protection services, our school-protection services and all of the legislation that will enable it,” he said.
Most other bishops are unwilling to rule out a nationwide investigation.
Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said a nationwide audit was a matter for the State but he would welcome one if it was deemed necessary.
Bishop Philip Boyce in Raphoe, Co Donegal, said he would welcome calls for a Commission of Investigation audit in Raphoe.
The Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor told RTÉ that inquiries should be pursued if necessary: “The plague and the boil of sexual abuse of children needs to be totally lanced. It is essential for the good of [the] Church, for the good of society but also for confidence in society that such a plague be lanced totally and profoundly to its roots.”
He said “it was incumbent” on those who are mentioned to consider their responsibilities.
The Diocese of Cork and Ross said it has “recently completed and submitted an audit to the HSE, complying with all the details requested”. It said if the Government should request a further audit, the diocese would cooperate fully with that request.
“Why? Because we are concerned for the safeguarding of children and because we have always recognised the need to reach out pastorally to those who have suffered,” said Fr Liam O’Driscoll, on behalf of Bishop John Buckley.
Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick said he would back and cooperate fully with a national audit.