26 June 2010
Statement by Father Bill Bermingham, Diocese of Cloyne
From the recent media coverage of a case involving an allegation of child sexual abuse made against a priest of the Diocese of Cloyne, it is clear that my handling of the particular case has caused further distress to the complainant. It is vital that any person occupying the role of designated officer/delegate within the Church should have the complete confidence of victims of child sexual abuse and of persons wishing to report abuse. This is an absolute value. My handling of this particular case has, despite my best intentions, served to undermine that confidence. For this reason and in the interests of those who have been offended against – and in the interests of the Church’s policy for the safeguarding of children – I have asked Archbishop Dermot Clifford to relieve me of the role of Designated Officer/Delegate in the Diocese of Cloyne. I very much regret the distress occasioned by my handling of this case.
I encourage any person who has suffered abuse to report it to the relevant Church authorities, to An Garda Síochána or to the Health Service Executive.
Bill Bermingham, PP
Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth, 086 172 7678