Thursday 17 October 2019

Embassy wined and dined Nigeria sex-probe bishop

John Cooney

A DISGRACED Tipperary-born archbishop was regularly wined and dined at the Irish Embassy to Nigeria at the taxpayers' expense.

Irene Christina Lynch, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Lynch, has recalled that when they were living in Nigeria from 1998 to 2003, Archbishop Richard Burke was among six Irish bishops who "came to our residence annually and whose company we very much enjoyed."

At that time, Archbishop Burke was Bishop of Warri, prior to his promotion last year as Metropolitan Archbishop of Benin City by Pope Benedict XVI.

Last Sunday Archbishop Burke hit the international news headlines when it was reported that a 40-year-old married Nigerian woman, Dolores Atwood, initiated an investigation against him by the Vatican for allegedly sexually abusing her at a hospital in Warri, when she was a minor and he was a priest.

Archbishop Burke, who is thought to be in the United States, has not commented on the complaint which is being conducted by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Inquisition.

Mrs Lynch made her laudatory reference to the then Bishop Burke in her book, 'Beyond Faith and Adventure -- Irish Missionaries in Nigeria tell their extraordinary story' which was launched in Dublin on July 7, 2006, by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Bishop Burke however, was not among the many missionaries who told their life stories to Mrs Lynch.

All the proceeds from the sale of the book were given to St Mary's Hospital, Eleta, Ibadan, in Nigeria.

Irish Independent

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