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DPP rejected garda recommendation that Cloyne bishop be prosecuted: report

Meanwhile, the number of dioceses in Ireland looks set to be reduced in the wake of another clerical sex abuse scandal.

Bishop John Magee in 2005
Bishop John Magee in 2005
Image: Photocall Ireland

IT IS REPORTED that gardaí recommended the prosecution of the former Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, last year but the move was dismissed as “not relevant” by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Writing in the Sunday Times (subscription required) Justine McCarthy reveals that gardaí pushed for the Bishop implicated in the damning Murphy report published on Wednesday to be prosecuted under the Criminal Law Act for failing to disclose information about an arrestable offence but that the DPP said this was irrelevant and that no charges  should be brought.

There have been calls for Bishop Magee, who resigned in March 2009, to return to Ireland following the publication of the report. The Murphy Commission report said Magee had neglected the guidelines for dealing with those who reported abuse by members of the priesthood. He is believed to be abroad.

Meanwhile, it is reported in  today’s Sunday Business Post that the Pope is to cut the number of dioceses in Ireland as the Catholic Church’s numbers dwindle in the wake of the various sex scandals that afflicted it in recent years.

Kieron Wood writes that six of the 26 dioceses in the country have no bishop as they have either resigned or retired and that Pope Benedict intends to take this opportunity to scrap and amalgamate a number of dioceses, appointing surprise new candidates to newly-created dioceses.

Elsehwhere, in his homily at mass in St Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin today, the Primate of Ireland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin expressed his anger at the “non-response” to allegations of abuse in the diocese of Cloyne and anger at the fact that children had been put at risk.

He said that “those in Church and State who have acted wrongly or inadequately should assume accountability” and said that “great damage has been done to the credibility of the Church in Ireland.”

He said this credibility would only be regained “by the church being more truly what the church is”.

Read full coverage of the Cloyne report publication >

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Hugh O'Connell

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