Statement of Bishop Bill Murphy on child protection in the Diocese of Kerry

27 Oct 2005


27 OCTOBER 2005



Bishop Murphy states “I have a sense of profound sadness and regret as I
have listened to the stories of those who have been abused by priests.
I am concerned, in a particular way, for those who have been hurt and
betrayed because of the abusive behaviour of any priest of the diocese
of Kerry.
In terms of the diocese of Kerry, I believe it is important that people
have the following information.  Since 1955 there have been
approximately three hundred and ten priests in ministry in the diocese
of Kerry.   Of these, there have been eleven allegations relating to the
sexual abuse of children. One of the eleven has been convicted and
served a prison sentence. In three cases, following investigation, the
Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to proceed with a case.
Four of these eleven priests are dead, two have been dismissed from the
priesthood, two applied for and were granted laicisation and three are
no longer in ministry. Three cases have been settled by the diocese for
a total of €260,000 excluding legal fees.
A Childcare Committee has been in place in this diocese since 1996.
This Committee includes professionals with expertise in psychology,
medicine, pastoral care, counselling and law. In accordance with agreed
guidelines, complaints of child sexual abuse are passed on to the Health
Board and to the Gardaí.
Next month, two people from this diocese will begin a year’s training
with the Child Protection Office based at Maynooth.  They will train
people in all parishes in the diocese of Kerry to ensure best practice
in child protection.
The Childcare Committee and I continue to put in place policies and
procedures for the care of children.  Much has already been done.  Many
of the recommendations of the report in relation to child protection are
already in place.  I would like to repeat what I said in my statement of
January 1996 that anyone who wishes to come forward to tell their story
will be listened to with care and sensitivity.
For more information:
Rev. Rory O’ Sullivan
Director of Communications
Diocese of Kerry
086 6018566