Belfast Telegraph

Deputy backs Enda Kenny in Vatican row

By Fionnan Sheahan and Lise Hand

The Republic's deputy prime minister has refused to explain Taoiseach Enda Kenny's claim of Vatican interference in child abuse inquiries.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the Irish government stands over Mr Kenny's attack on the Vatican and the response from the Holy See "misses the point".

The Irish Cabinet is to discuss the Vatican's weekend response to the Cloyne Report when it meets later this week.

Mr Kenny is being called upon to explain on what basis he accused the Vatican of interfering with investigations as recently as three years ago.

In its lengthy response to findings of the Cloyne Report, the Vatican rejected accusations of interference in any inquiry or the implementation of child protection guidelines.

The Vatican also said that Mr Kenny's claim in the Dail on July 20 that it attempted to frustrate an inquiry into abuse "as little as three years ago" was unfounded.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the Taoiseach's claim merited explanation.

But Mr Gilmore said the Vatican's detailed response "probably misses the point".

"The point here as far as the government is concerned is that the issue we want addressed is the welfare of children and the protection of children," he said.

But the foreign affairs minister failed to provide any specific evidence to back up the Taoiseach's claim of interference.

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