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Cork man ejected from priesthood over abuse claims has appeal rejected by Rome

Dan Duane made the appeal to the Catholic Church’s highest judicial authority.

Image: RTÉ.ie

A FORMER PRIEST who was cleared of criminal charges of child abuse but was dismissed by the church has had his appeal rejected by authorities in Rome.

Dan Duane of the Cloyne Diocese had appealed the decision by the Canonical Court in Ireland to remove him from the priesthood but the Vatican has dismissed the appeal.

Numerous accusations of abuse against Duane were made to gardaí but just two made it to trial, both of which led to the Mallow man being cleared.

Duane’s appeal to the Apostolic Signatura and Pope Francis led to the Catholic Church’s judicial authority reviewing all the evidence against him.

The appeal has now been turned down following “a long period of deliberation”.

One of the court cases saw Duane accused of kissing a teenage girl on the lips, and fondling her, when she went to his house to speak to him about a family problem. The judge in the case directed the jury to find Duane not guilty because the delay in making her complaint.

The judge had said the 30-year delay was inexcusable because the woman worked in a profession which encouraged victims to make complaints.

Speaking following today’s decision, Bishop of Cloyne William Crean said the church are “most grateful to the survivors of abuse who had the courage to come forward”.

“This long and painful process for all involved has now reached completion. We regret that the process took so long,” Crean said, adding that comprehensive child protection measures are in place in the Diocese.

Read: Retired priest cleared of indecent assault charge >

Read: Cork priest denies indecent assault of Cork teenager in 1980s >

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Rónán Duffy

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