Statement from Dr John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert

18 Jan 2006


18 JANUARY 2006

Statement from Dr John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert

Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert today confirmed that a retired priest
belonging to a foreign diocese and who formerly served in Clonfert
is under investigation over an allegation of child sexual abuse. The
allegation, which has only very recently come to light, relates to
the 1970’s before the priest came to work in Clonfert. The priest
is currently under full-time medical supervision. On being advised
of this allegation, the church authorities immediately informed the
Gardaí and the Health Service Executive and the allegation is being
investigated. Following a meeting of the Clonfert Child Protection
Committee and in accordance with diocesan procedures and the Church’s
child protection policy the priest, who is no longer parochially
involved, has stood aside from the public celebration of the Eucharist.

Bishop Kirby said, “I wish to state that the making of an appropriate
response to all aspects of complaints of child sexual abuse has been
and is an absolute priority for me as bishop. The diocese of Clonfert
is fully committed to the protection of children and I invite anybody
in the diocese who may have concerns regarding the protection of children
to bring these concerns to my attention.”

Bishop John Kirby
18 January 2006

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)