Thursday 22 March 2018

Relatives of tragic victim again call on cleric to quit

Barry Duggan

THIS is the second time in recent years that Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray has been at the centre of a controversy over clerical sex abuse.

Abuse victim Peter McCloskey took his own life in 2006 after he unsuccessfully attempted to seek redress from Bishop Murray over the sexual abuse he suffered on numerous occasions at the hands of a priest in the diocese in the 1980s.

Since the shocking revelations in the Murphy report, McCloskey family members have called on Bishop Murray to resign.

Peter's father Aidan had said "a criminal would have been treated better by the bishop".

The deceased man's brother, Joseph, accused the bishop of treating his brother "disgracefully" and supported his father's call for the prelate's resignation.

When contacted last night, his mother Mary did not wish to comment.

In 2002, Peter McCloskey approached Dr Murray and reported that he had been raped by a priest who previously served in his diocese.

Peter, then aged 33, had that year summoned the courage to inform his family of the torment he had suffered as a child.

While serving as an altar boy in Caherdavin parish in 1980 to 1981, Peter was raped on numerous occasions in the church sacristy by Fr Denis Daly from Ogonnelloe, Co Clare.

Fr Daly had worked in Sydney, but was banished by police on foot of what was recorded in his diocesan file as "a moral lapse". He served in Limerick from 1980 until his death in 1987.

The priest, who was often moved between parishes across the world, was never brought to justice.

In 2004, Peter went to Australia to examine the file held on Fr Daly by his former diocese. It contained documents covering 30 years of sexual abuse by the priest and included correspondence between the Australian Church and their Irish counterparts.

Upon returning home, Peter, a married father of three children, tried to take the matter up with Bishop Murray again, but was rebutted and met with legal threats from the clergy.

Peter became depressed after Bishop Murray's dismissal. In March 2006, he attended what was described as a 'mediation conference' with the Limerick diocese. However, these talks failed Peter, and he took his own life on April 1, 2006.

Irish Independent

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