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Saturday 19 October 2019

I'm a good, honest Christian, claims paedophile priest

Allison Bray

ONE of the most heinous paedophile priests exposed in the Murphy Report has asked for a second chance.

But the estranged stepson of Fr Bill Carney said the defrocked priest was merely trying to manipulate the public.

Paul Clayton said: "I believe Carney is sneaky about everything. I don't trust him as far as I could throw him."

Carney was denounced in the Murphy Report into clerical sexual abuse as "one of the most serious abusers investigated by the commission". He was linked to at least 32 complaints and suspicions of abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Now he has begged for forgiveness and insisted that he no longer poses "any threat or danger" to children.

Carney, who fled Ireland and has since lived in England and Spain, claims he has done nothing wrong for more than 30 years, aside from getting a speeding ticket.

"I am a good honest Christian living as best I can one day at a time," he said.

But his former stepson said the letter was a thinly veiled attempt to garner pity.

Neither Mr Clayton nor his mother Joan knew anything about Carney's dark past when she married him in 2004 and they lived together in the Cotswolds near Cheltenham.

Mr Clayton said: "He is so clever. Now I think he's trying to manipulate the press.

"He makes people feel sorry for him, but he will never admit everything he's done. He will take it to his grave. I don't feel sorry for him, I feel sorry for his victims."

Carney broke his silence in a letter to local newspaper 'The Gloucestershire Echo', which had previously published stories about him.

It is understood that the former priest fled the area after it exposed how he was living beside a local playground.

But in his letter, Carney said that while articles were depicting him as a danger to children, "nothing could be further from the truth".

He said: "For over 30 years now I have been a recovering alcoholic and the only mark against my name is three points on my driving licence.

"In these 30 years, there has not been the slightest suggestion of anything that would indicate that I am a danger to any child."

Carney also claimed that he had only been in the local playground once in seven years and did nothing "to suggest that I was in any way, shape of form a danger to the welfare of any child".

He went on to say: "Everyone does deserve a second chance. I am today a good person doing my best to have a good life, one day at a time.

Altar boys

"I know in my heart what kind of person I am today and I know that I do not pose any threat of danger to any child -- 30 years surely must mean and say something. I am a good, honest Christian living as best I can one day at a time and your article and whatever others say, thank God, does not change that. All I ask for is a chance."

In her 2009 report, Judge Yvonne Murphy cited Carney's serial abuse of children as some of the worst cases of child sex abuse investigated.

Carney pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two altar boys, was given the Probation Act in 1983 and was defrocked in 1992.

Irish Independent

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