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[Bishop Comiskey was denounced for failing to take this accusation seriously. When worthless allegations are treated as gospel truth by the media, it is not surprising that Church authorities sometimes fail to take real allegations as seriously as they should.

Rory Connor
16 June 2007]

Sex Abuse Case Continues in High Court
Family Forced Withdrawal of Complaint Against Priest

 Gorey Guardian Wednesday 23 May  2007

An Enniscorthy man who alleges he was sexually abused by a priest during the early 1990s has told the High Court that he withdrew his initial statement of complaint against the cleric due to pressure from within his family.

Paul McGannon, who is one of three men taking a legal action in which they are alleging they were sexually abused by a priest in the Diocese of Ferns, and that the Diocese is liable for the alleged abuse.

The actions have been brought by Mr Patrick Doyle, an Eircom technician of The Rookery, Bellefield, Enniscorthy; Mr Doyle's brother Anthony as well as Mr McGannon, of Ballinamnuddagh, The Ballagh who are suing Fr John Kinsella and the Diocese of Ferns.

Fr Kinsella has denied the allegations against him while the Diocese contends the action is statute barred because of the delay in bringing the proceedings.

A number of persons attached to the Diocese have been subpoenaed to give evidence in the case.

Last week, Mr John Peart SC, for Fr Kinsella, continued his cross-examination of Mr McGannon who alleges that Fr Kinsella, then a curate in the parish of The Ballagh, Enniscorthy, sexually assaulted and battered him between June 1993 and July 1994, when he was a school boy.

Mr McGannon said that in the summer of 93 he did some work for Fr Kinsella. Mr McGannon claimed that he would listen to him about his family problems and used this to gain his trust. This, the witness said, was done so Fr Kinsella could have his own free way with me'.

Mr McGannon said that he felt under pressure,' to make a statement to the Gardai, about the alleged abuse, in February 1996.

He said that there were differences between this and other statements he made about the alleged abuse were for reasons including that he made the first statement to the Gardai just ten days after being released from hospital and did not feel ready to talk about things at that time.

It had taken him many years of counselling before he could fully talk about what he said happened to him. He agreed with Counsel that he later withdrew the 1996 statement as a result of pressure by his father.

He said that although his father drove him to the Garda station wanted him to withdraw to protect the good name of the family' as in 1996 the issue of clerical abuse was not that widely known and because the priest would be believed ahead of the victim.'

He said that he later sought to have that statement re-instated.

In June of that year he went to confront Fr Kinsella in the study of the parochial house when he heard that there were allegations that the priest had interfered with five others.

Mr McGannon said that when he asked Fr Kinsella if they were true and would it now stop, Fr Kinsella, he said replied that it was his ambition to have sex with males,' and that would never change.'

The witness strongly denied that he had made the allegations against Fr Kinsella because he had a grudge' against Fr Kinsella because he wanted to be the local church Sacristan, but was not given the role.

That is an absolute lie,' he said.

The case, which is expected to last several weeks, continues in June after the courts resume from their annual break

[Actually it did NOT last several weeks - see "Ferns Sex Abuse Action Struck Out" on on 15 June 2007]