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Mourners told cardinal 'struggled with decisions on clerical abuse'

By Ed Carty

The late Cardinal Desmond Connell has been remembered as a man who made mistakes but as the one who finally began to realise the extent of clerical abuse in Ireland.

At his funeral at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, Archibishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said his predecessor had to drag information on paedophilia scandals from those who were reluctant to share.

Cardinal Connell died on Tuesday after an illness.

In his homily, Archbishop Martin acknowledged some failures but also paid tribute to the Cardinal, who he said led the church in Ireland at a difficult time.

"He made mistakes in his decisions and he struggled with the consequences," the senior cleric told mourners.

"It must be said that he found himself surrounded by a culture and at times by advisers who were slow and perhaps even unwilling to recognise both the extent of the problem and the enormous hurt that had been done to children, a hurt they still carry with them.

"That hurt has still to be fully recognised; that wound cannot be consigned to past history. For victims, it still remains."

Cardinal Connell was laid to rest in the Crypt of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral.

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