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Bishop apologises for alleged child abuse by former parish priest

Bishop Francis Duffy said the alleged crimes of Fr Brendan Hynds were “appalling.”

bishoptop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. Source: Ardagh Diocese

BISHOP FRANCIS DUFFY has told communities in the diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois he is “shamed” by the alleged child abuse of their former parish priest, Fr Brendan Hynds, and apologised for it.

Duffy acknowledged recent testimony he had received about the conduct of Hynds, who was parish priest in Cloghan, Co Offaly and before that, Ballymahon, Co Longford.

He died in 1993.

In statements issued at St Mary’s Church in Cloghan, and St Matthew’s Church in Ballymahon in the past week, the Bishop called the priest’s reported behaviour “appalling,” and sought to reassure the congregations.

I have been deeply moved by the accounts of trauma suffered by those affected. I am grateful to them for their courage in coming forward to make their experience known.
The betrayal of the trust of a child is an appalling act; furthermore, it greatly shames me that he used his position as a priest to carry out his abuse.
I sincerely apologise to those individuals, and their families who have been hurt by Fr Hynds. I hope this public recognition of their suffering might be one further step in the on-going journey of personal healing.
I also apologise to you as the parish community he served.

Duffy went to invite anyone with historical concerns about Hynds to contact Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, or the Gardaí.

Finally, I want to reassure you that, at this time, the diocese is in full compliance with the policy and procedures set out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Read: Pope Francis personally asks for forgiveness for child sex abuse by priests>

Opinion: Without meaningful action, apologies to child abuse survivors are just words>

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Dan MacGuill

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