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Irish diocesan official tipped accused priest about sex-abuse complaint, victims charge

Catholic World News - June 25, 2010

Irish sex-abuse victims charge that the official appointed to handle victims’ complaints for the Cloyne diocese tipped off the accused priest, handing him a file on the charges before he was questioned by police. The official has denied the charge.

Father Bill Bermingham, the Cloyne diocesan official who handles sex-abuse complaints, says that he met with the accused priest only after reporting the complaint to law-enforcement officials. The accused priest was immediately removed from pastoral duties, in keeping with the Church policy, he reported. Father Bermingham said that he only supplied the priest with a record of their conversation, in which he informed the accused cleric of the charges against him. He points out that their conversation took place a month after he had informed police, and "I did not know at that time when the Gardaí intended to interview the accused priest in connection with this complaint."

[In its report on the abuse victim's complaint, Irish Central misspells both Father Bermingham's name and the name of the Cloyne diocese, and refers to Archbishop Diarmuid Dunne (apparently a mistaken reference to Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin).]

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