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Irish diocese’s victim advocate resigns amid cover-up allegations

Catholic World News - June 28, 2010

Father Bill Bermingham resigned from his position as Designated Person for the Safeguarding of Children in the Diocese of Cloyne on June 25 after it was reported he had told an accused priest about an abuse allegation before he told the police.

Father Bermingham said that he had informed the police immediately about the abuse complaint, the accused priest had been removed from pastoral duty, and some time had then elapsed before he met with the priest to discuss the accusation. He said that he was unaware the police were preparing to question the accused priest at that time. However he admitted that his actions had caused distress to the man who made the complaint, and resigned for that reason.

“I wish to thank Father Bermingham for the unstinting and selfless commitment which he has given to this role on behalf of the diocese during a very painful period,” said Archbishop Dermot Clifford, the diocese’s apostolic administrator. “I have been witness to the integrity of Father Bermingham's motivation in seeking to rebuild trust with people who have been harmed by priests of the diocese and, to help in their healing. The safeguarding of children in Church ministry has been his consistent priority and concern.”

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