Statement by Bishop Leo O’Reilly on child safeguarding in the Diocese of Kilmore
In reply to a media query concerning a priest asked to stand aside from ministry in the diocese of Kilmore due to child safeguarding complaints, I should point out that these are the subject of both criminal investigation and legal proceedings and I am in a position to comment only in a general way on what is a complex individual case.
In September when child safeguarding complaints concerning this priest came to my attention I immediately informed the civil authorities. I spoke to the priest who voluntarily agreed to stand aside from sacred ministry. I informed the parish council that complaints had been received and I addressed local Masses so as to directly and personally inform parishioners.
As bishop of Kilmore I am very much aware of my leadership responsibility to safeguard children in the diocese, and I am absolutely determined to discharge those responsibilities fully. In doing so, and in responding to this case, children are placed first and I am committed to achieving justice for all concerned.
The Diocese of Kilmore applies the standards of good practice in safeguarding children proposed by the latest Church and State guidelines. However ongoing vigilance and cooperation throughout the diocese is required to make these guidelines work. I therefore invite anybody who may have concerns in this regard to contact the Child Safeguarding Designated Person of the diocese, Suzie Duffy; An Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive.
Further information please contact Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth, on 00 353 86 1727678