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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 7°C
People at mass

Two allegations in last six years at the Diocese of Ossory

The Church’s child safety watchdog has made 12 recommendations to the diocese, but found that the most recent allegations have been dealt with ‘appropriately’.

THERE HAVE BEEN allegations made against 14 priest since 1975 in the Diocese of Ossory.

It’s reported that most of these occurred under the tenure of Bishops Peter Birch and Laurence Forristal.

Bishop Séamus Freeman was appointed in 2007 and has dealt with allegations against two living priests since then.

Both those allegations were made in the past six years and the report says both ‘have been appropriately managed with timely notifications to the civil authorities.’

The reviewers are satisfied that in both cases the status of the priests, in full ministry, is appropriate and that all matters have been addressed based on the information that was available to Bishop Freeman and his designated people.

The review was carried out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, the watchdog tasked with ensuring child safety in the Church.

It is based upon case material made available to the reviewers by Bishop Freeman, along with interviews with selected key personnel who contribute to the safeguarding within the Ossory diocese, which is made up of just over 89,429 people in the south-east of Ireland.

It has forty-two parishes in counties Kilkenny, Laois and Offaly and has 60 active priests in ministry in the diocese.

The main recommendations made by the report were;

  • That the safeguarding committee should follow the seven safeguarding standards set in the 2009 Safeguarding Children report
  • That Bishop Freeman ensures the National Case Management Reference Group is followed.
  • Bishop Freeman should make appropriate enquiries from the Church authority before issuing letters of good standing for priests.
  • All information relating to victims should be detailed and passed on to civil authorities.
  • A designated person should be appointed to deal with cases from start to finish to make sure there is no conflict of interest.
  • A communication plan should be set up stating how the safeguards will be promoted throughout the diocese.
  • Bishop Freeman should clarify role descriptions for those involved in the management of allegations and safety plans.

To read the report, click here.

Read: Archbishop of Cashel and Emly praised for speedy reaction to abuse claims

Read: Accused ‘Kiltegan Fathers’ on African missions “afforded too much tolerance”

Read: Just 12 Christian Brothers convicted after 870 allegations

Read: Diocese of Kerry dealt appropriately with 67 allegations of abuse about 21 priests

Read: Diocese of Down and Connor met 46 of 48 child safety ojectives


  • Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778 888
  • Towards Healing 1800 303 416
  • Connect 1800 477 477
  • One in Four 01-6624070
  • The Samaritans 1850 60 9090

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