Church 'failed to act' against Donegal priest

The Catholic Church is today facing fresh accusations that it failed to adequately deal with allegations of clerical child sex abuse in 1995.

The Catholic Church is today facing fresh accusations that it failed to adequately deal with allegations of clerical child sex abuse in 1995.

A BBC Spotlight documentary due to be broadcast tonight claims that Dr Philip Boyce, the Bishop of Raphoe at the time, was told in 1995 about complaints against Fr Eugene Greene from Annagry in Co Donegal.

However, Fr Greene remained in active ministry until 1998, when the Gardai began investigating his alleged activities.

The programme also claims that senior priests were informed of complaints against Fr Greene on at least four other occasions dating back to 1971, but the complaints were never recorded in diocesan files.

Fr Greene was jailed for 12 years in 2000 after pleading guilty to 41 sample charges of sexual assault against children in Donegal between 1965 and 1982.

He was originally charged with more than 100 counts of sexual assault, mainly against altar boys who said they were subjected to repeated assault and buggery.

Tonight's TV programme, entitled Sins of Omission, says the parish priest and principal of the local primary school in Annagry contacted Bishop Boyce in November 1995 to discuss the volume of rumours and allegations circulating about Fr Greene.

The bishop confirmed this meeting to the programme, but said his subsequent inquiries found no complaints or records of complaints against the priest.

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