It was with sadness that the bishops, priests and people of the Diocese of Raphoe heard of the death yesterday afternoon, Friday, 20 September, of Bishop Séamus Hegarty. A native of the Parish of Kilcar, Bishop Hegarty served the diocese for many years as priest and bishop.
Bishop Hegarty had a long episcopal ministry. He was ordained Bishop of Raphoe on 28 March 1982 and was subsequently appointed Bishop of Derry in 1994. His ministry as bishop was deeply challenged. During those years there was the tragedy of serious crimes of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests in the diocese. Bishop Hegarty was challenged about his management of those situations. Addressing failures on his own part, Bishop Hegarty asked for forgiveness from those who suffered cruelly. Following his resignation in 2011 on grounds of ill-health, he stated, “I am deeply sorry that anyone was hurt through my management of allegations historically.”
The Diocese of Raphoe offers sincere sympathies to all those who loved Bishop Hegarty and grieve his passing.
Leaba i measc na Naomh go raibh aige.
- Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ is Bishop of Raphoe.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678.