Priest found guilty of sex abuse by church trial is dismissed
A priest of the Diocese of Cloyne who was found not guilty twice in court of sexually abusing teenage girls had complaints of sexual abuse of minors against him upheld at a canonical penal trial recently. It was announced subsequently that he is being dismissed from the priesthood.
The penal trial of the retired priest was presided over by three canon law judges. They upheld a number of complaints of sexual abuse of minors against him going back years. A number of the complainants gave evidence to the canonical trial.
A statement issued by the Diocese after the judgement said it would “continue to offer counselling and pastoral support to all who have been abused.” The statement went on to express “deep regret at the suffering that has been caused.”
While the priest in question, who is now 75, was the subject of almost a dozen Garda complaints of abuse over the years, just two cases of sexual assault against two teenage girls were brought against him. One failed on the grounds of the 30 year delay in lodging the complaint while he was found not guilty in the second. It’s understood the victim in the latter case gave evidence to the canonical trial last week. It’s also understood that the church settled a number of civil cases brought previously by victims.
The priest has 15 days to appeal the canonical court decision.