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Club asked to remove abuse priest's name from plaque

ONE of Dublin's most exclusive golf clubs has been asked to remove the name of the notorious paedophile priest Bill Carney from a plaque honouring its top golfers.

Carney, who is named in the Murphy report as one of the most serious child sex abusers in the Dublin Archdiocese, is listed as the Royal Dublin Golf Club's 'golfer of the year' for 1994 under the name WP Carney.

Members have complained to club officials at different times but the commemorative plaque remains in place in foyer of the clubhouse in Clontarf this weekend. "It has been brought up on several occasions," said the member, who asked not to be named.

"A lot of people knew what he was like -- they were warned not to let their sons anywhere near him. He was a very good golfer but he was also a cheat."

Carney's association with the Royal Dublin is likely to be embarrassing for the club, which is steeped in tradition and draws its membership from the business and legal professions. Club officials refused to comment on the affair this weekend.

Carney, who was said to be a "seriously good golfer", was named golfer of the year in 1994, after winning the best result in a series of competitions set by the club.

He joined the select club while a priest at Ayrefield parish in Coolock in the late Eighties.

Members recalled this weekend how Carney used to drive to the Royal Dublin with children sitting on his lap in the car and how young boys would follow him around the golf course caddying for him.

Unknown to the Royal Dublin, Carney had a conviction for indecent assault dating back to 1983. After continuing to flout restrictions on his behaviour imposed by the Archdiocese and numerous complaints about his behaviour, Carney was dismissed from the priesthood in 1992.

He refused to leave the diocesan house until he got a pay off of IR£30,000 from the Archdiocese two years later.

Carney was expelled from the Royal Dublin in the mid-1990s after newspaper reports exposed the priest's past.

He is now married and living in the UK.

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Judge Yvonne Murphy's Commission of Investigation into the Dublin archdiocese said Carney is the subject of 32 complaints and there is evidence that he abused many more children. Six of his victims have been paid compensation by Church authorities.

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