Database of predatory Irish priests published by US group

Database predatory Irish priests published US group

BishopAccountability.org has published a list of more than 70 clergy from across Ireland who have been convicted of abuse, or who were named in the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports as having faced abuse allegations.

The group relied on media sources and the reports of the State inquiries.

It says the list probably covers only about 6 per cent of the total number of accused priests known to the Irish Church.

It is the fourth database published by BishopAccountability.org, which maintains a running database of accused US clergy, and has published databases of publicly accused clergy in Argentina and Chile.

The group said: “We hope that this Irish database will encourage an open debate about how societies balance an accused person’s privacy rights against a child’s right to be safe and the public’s right to know.”

The list includes notorious paedophiles including Fr Brendan Smyth, Fr Sean Fortune and Fr Malachy Finnegan.

Former President Mary McAleese, whose brother was “seriously physically, sadistically abused” by Finnegan in St Colman’s College in Newry, Co Down, has called for a public inquiry into the church’s handling of allegations against the priest.

Revelations of child rapes committed by the late Fr Sean Fortune led to the resignation of The Bishop of Ferns, Dr Brendan Comiskey and was instrumental in setting up the Ferns Inquiry, whose report was published in October, 2005. Fortune escaped trial in 1999 by killing himself with a cocktail of drink and drugs.


Catholic church in Ireland at a crossroads

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