Monday 18 December 2017

People in charge must face justice, says priest

Barry Duggan

THE priest defamed by RTE over false allegations that he sexually abused a girl and fathered a child by her has said those responsible must "face the consequences" of their actions.

Fr Kevin Reynolds (65) said while he was not looking for anyone behind the infamous 'Prime Time Investigates' production to lose their jobs, the issue was now in the hands of his solicitor.

Fr Reynolds is back working in his parish of Ahascragh, Co Galway, after the State broadcaster agreed to pay major damages to his legal team to settle the highly controversial defamation case.

Asked on Shannonside Radio yesterday should employees of the state broadcaster lose their jobs as a result, Fr Reynolds said he was not seeking revenge.

"I'm not out for anybody's blood or for heads rolling or for people being sacked or whatever," the priest said.

Consequences

"When it comes to the whole area of justice, that is not my vocation. I will leave that in the hands of my solicitor (Robert Dore). He is very capable. They will pursue that in a legal way," Fr Reynolds said.

However, he said people involved in decision-making had to realise the consequences of their actions.

"People in authority, people who have been appointed to state institutions, people at the heart of decision-making like in RTE, they will have to face the consequences and I guess they are doing that now," he said.

He said he was "in a daze" after RTE broadcast the false allegations.

"I couldn't get over how they could get it so wrong. I had a clear conscience.

"These allegations were totally baseless, untrue and I said I'm going to fight this until my dying breath."

He said he has since forgiven all involved in the programme entitled, 'A Mission To Prey' which last May falsely accused him of sexually abusing a teenage girl in Kenya in 1982 and fathering a child by her before abandoning them both. The groundless allegation was repeated again on RTE's Morning Ireland the following day.

"As a priest, I pray and say Mass every day. You have to remember the core picture and the very heart of Christianity. It is all summed up in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Where there is no forgiveness, we are out of business," he added.

Irish Independent

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