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Wednesday 16 October 2019

Diocese pays further €320,000 to victims

Gordon Deegan

The Diocese of Killaloe has confirmed that it paid a further €323,507 to victims of past clerical sexual abuse last year.

The payment, revealed in the annual diocesan accounts, brings the amount to over €1.8m paid by the diocese to the victims since 2003.

The accounts also reveal that the panic in the global financial markets resulted in the diocese recording a loss last year.

The Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh, in a statement accompanying the accounts, said that the €323,507 payment was funded from the €1.5m sale of six acres of land at his Ennis residence in 2001.

The accounts reveal that after enjoying a surplus of €165,517 in 2007, the diocese last year sustained a loss of €22,403. This arose due to the cost of financing a bridging loan of €3.6m, the diocese revealed, that it took out in April 2008 "pending the maturity of an investment product in September 2008".

Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008, before the investment product was due to mature and the financial statements confirm that "the collapse in financial markets before the maturity date left us unable to repay the loan. The interest charge in 2008 was €102,450".

The €102,450 paid last year in interest on the bank loan compares to bank loan charges of just €1,650 paid out in 2007.

Dr Walsh states: "I am deeply conscious that we publish these financial returns at a time when many of you are facing financial burdens of our own."

He also confirmed that the diocese spent €19,152 on child protection and this "reflects the commitment of the diocese to ensure best practice by all people in our parish communities who work with young children".

Irish Independent

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