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Sunday 4 December 2016

Martin: I helped McQuaid probe

Edel O'Connell

Published 12/12/2011 | 05:00

THE Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin insisted yesterday he co-operated in full with the Murphy Commission's investigation into allegations against Dr John Charles McQuaid.

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Dr Martin, the country's second most senior cleric, told the Irish Independent he had willingly handed over all relevant documentation and information to the commission to assist it in its inquiry into the allegations of child sexual abuse made against the former archbishop of Dublin.

Two complaints against Dr McQuaid were brought to the attention of the Murphy Commission, which investigated the handling of clerical child sex abuse complaints in the Dublin archdiocese. One complaint alleges abuse of a 12-year-old boy by Dr McQuaid in 1961.

The complaints were addressed in a supplementary report to the Dublin archdiocese investigation. The supplementary report states that in June 2009, as the commission was completing its main report, it received information concerning a complaint about Dr McQuaid by an adult in the Eastern Health Board in January 2003.

This complaint was made known to Dr Martin in May 2009 and the commission was informed. The archdiocese then organised a further trawl of its files and found a letter "which showed that there was an awareness among a number of people in the archdiocese that there had been a concern expressed about this cleric since 1999". This letter was also passed to the commission, in July 2009, by which time its report was almost complete.

Then in 2010, after the commission's report had been published, Dr Martin told it he had received another abuse complaint against Dr McQuaid.

The 2010 complaint is the subject of a civil action against the archdiocese.

Abusive

Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, Dr Martin said he had done everything he could to assist the Murphy Commission in relation to the allegations, adding: "I made no distinction between priests or bishops or any other clergy in doing so."

Victims' group One in Four has called for a Government-probe into the accusations against Dr McQuaid, who was archbishop between 1940 and 1972 and criticised by the commission for his failure to protect children from abusive priests. He died in 1973.

Asked if he would be supportive of such an inquiry Archbishop Martin said as far as he was concerned the Murphy Commission was a statutory inquiry. "What would be the difference between it and the investigation carried out by the Murphy commission?"he asked.

Irish Independent

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