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'I didn't go too far': Taoiseach defends Cloyne report comments

Enda Kenny was responding to criticism levelled at him by the Vatican last weekend.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Fine Gael party think-in in Galway yesterday.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Fine Gael party think-in in Galway yesterday.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE TAOISEACH HAS stood by his landmark address to the Dáil in July following the publication of the Cloyne report despite criticism from the Vatican last weekend.

Kenny was speaking in the aftermath of the Holy See’s criticism of his response to the Cloyne report when, in a speech to the Dáil on 20 July, he slammed the attitude of the Vatican to complaints of child sexual abuse by priests in the diocese of Cloyne.

The speech, considered a landmark moment in the Irish State’s relationship with the Catholic Church, contained allegations which the Vatican said were “unfounded”.

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin also called on the Taoiseach to explain his remarks.

But when asked if he had gone too far with his comments, Kenny told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland:

No I didn’t go too far. In my view, I tried to express the anxiety and the concern, and the absolute anger of so many people about what had happened over the years.

He insisted that the Vatican did not provide full co-operation with the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of abuse at Cloyne and said that in 2006, 2007 and 2009 specific requests “were either ignored or rejected”.

He said the government was concerned about the “safeguarding of children”  and it wanted “to put in place a situation by government action that this can never happen again”

He invited all religions organisations to work with government to ensure children are protected in future adding: “This is so important for our future.”

Cloyne: Full text of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s statement >

Cloyne: Vatican rejects Taoiseach’s criticism >

Cloyne: Tánaiste reacts to Vatican statement as Taoiseach says he doesn’t regret speech >

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Hugh O'Connell

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