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Second Cork Priest Quizzed As Updated File Sent to DPP

Irish Examiner, March 26, 2010 by Claire O’Sullivan

THE second priest at the centre of 2008 National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) report has been re-interviewed by gardaí in North Cork earlier this week and an updated file is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The former Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, was also recently interviewed by gardaí in relation to this case, as a schoolteacher from the area made a formal complaint in January last year that the bishop had endangered children by failing to disclose information on potential paedophiles. It’s understood that several other priests from Cloyne were interviewed as part of the case.

The NBSC report, published in December 2008, focused on a complaint made against this man, Fr A, and a second man, an alleged serial paedophile, Fr B. Further information on the complaint against Fr A has come to gardaí from a third party.

In the report written by Ian Elliott, it was found that the Co Cork diocese was "significantly deficient" in dealing with alleged child abuse cases and "failed to focus on the needs of the vulnerable child".

Gardaí spoke to Bishop Magee, whose resignation was accepted by Rome on Wednesday, in recent weeks about a complaint that he had withheld information from officers investigating allegations of child sex abuse against Fr A.

Fr A is alleged to have abused a boy who later went on to become a priest himself. The alleged victim has since left the priesthood. He reported the claim in December 2004.

Fr A, who is now in his 70s, is not in ministry.

The retired teacher has used the Fr A case to illustrate Bishop Magee’s alleged reckless endangerment of children by his failure to name Fr A to gardaí and to hand over all information on the case to NBSC.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, March 26, 2010