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"No concrete or credible evidence" of gay sexual activity at seminary, says St. Patrick's College

The college is responding to anonymous allegations of goings-on at the priest training college.

The college is currently training 55 Catholic priests.
The college is currently training 55 Catholic priests.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

MAYNOOTH SEMINARY HAS said there is “no concrete or credible evidence” of alleged misbehaviour at the priest training college.

The statement comes amid allegations of gay sexual activity and other misconduct at the seminary which is currently training 55 people for the priesthood.

The allegations led to a decision by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin to not send any trainee Catholic priests to the Kildare-based seminary.

These allegations, Martin said, have come from anonymous sources including letters, blogs and whistleblowers and include claims that gay dating app Grindr is being used by some trainee priests at the college.

Responding to questions about the allegations in the media, a spokesperson for St. Patrick’s College said that the college is aware of the allegations but that no evidence has been seen:

The college is aware of anonymous correspondence. Currently, the college has no concrete or credible evidence of the existence of any alleged misbehaviour. As outlined clearly in the Seminary Rule, any student actively involved or promoting such a culture or behaviour would be asked to leave the seminary formation programme.

File Phot: Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has decided to stop sending seminarians from the Dublin diocese to St Patricks College in Maynooth. This follows media reports that there has been a gay culture among student priests in Maynooth, with some e Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin will not be sending priests from his diocese to the college. Source: Eamonn Farrell

The college has also said that an investigation has been undertaken into the allegations and a report has been presented to the trustees board.

An independent investigation could also be launched, but this has not yet happened:

An independent panel, nominated in the College’s Dignity at Work and Studies Policy and Procedures deals with allegations of misbehaviour. It is an independent body from the college and it has not to date found any prima facie cases to be answered by staff or students. Currently, there is no matter for investigation before the panel.

The college also says that it will be updating its reporting policies so as to make reporting alleged misbehaviour a more transparent process.

“The college will be reviewing current policies and procedures with a view to enhancing structures for reporting concerns and/or misbehaviour so as to discourage recourse to anonymous correspondence while taking care to ensure due process and justice,” the statement says.

A former trainee priest has told the Irish Independent that he was harassed by a member of staff while studying in Maynooth and will meet with gardaí over the issue.

The college says that it has not yet been contacted by An Garda Síochána over allegations of abuse.

Read: Why have you been hearing about “strange goings-on” at the national seminary? >

Read: ‘Forty years on, only 4 of our 10 still serve as priests’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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