Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Calls grow for bishop to quit over handling of abuse cases

The Bishop of Limerick was under mounting pressure last night to resign over his handling of child sexual abuse complaints while he worked in Dublin.

But despite demands from abuse survivors Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has refused to call for Dr Donal Murray to quit — after damning criticisms of him in the Murphy Report into child abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Archbishop Martin was, however, sharply critical of Cardinal Desmond Connell, his predecessor as Archbishop of Dublin, who he said had been “scarce with the truth” in comments about the use of Church funds to compensate victims.

And speaking last night, Dr Martin confirmed that gardai were still investigating whether a paedophile ring of priests operated in Dublin.

Dr Murray said yesterday he would “be guided by the priests and people” of his diocese as to whether he would resign.

But Dr John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, Co Down, said: “Any bishop today around whom there are serious questions in relation to the care and protection of children has serious questions to answer.

“I know that (Bishop Murray) has taken the view that he should remain, but I think he will be thinking very seriously about that.”

The report described Bishop Murray's failure to investigate one allegation as inexcusable. He said: “As far as I am concerned the question of whether I should resign is a question of whether my presence here is a help or a hindrance.”

Two of the most prominent survivors of child abuse, Andrew Madden and Marie Collins, yesterday both said they were disappointed in Dr Martin for not issuing “a clear statement” on whether he thinks Dr Murray should resign.

Archbishop Martin told the Irish Independent he believed that “resignations are by their very nature personal decisions”.

“At this moment, I still believe that decisions should be personal,” he said. “And I have not indicated my own views beyond indicating that the best interests of children should be a principal priority.”

The Government has also stopped short of spelling out whether Dr Murray should resign.

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