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Shane Dunphy: Ferns' plea for abuse money left me shaking with rage

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Bishop Denis Brennan of the Ferns diocese

Bishop Denis Brennan of the Ferns diocese

Bishop Denis Brennan of the Ferns diocese

AFTER almost two decades working in the field of child protection, it is rare that I find myself actually trembling with rage, but yesterday morning on my usual commute to work, I experienced just such a paroxysm of emotion.

The cause for this anger was a news item which informed me that Dr Denis Brennan, the Bishop of Ferns, was inviting parishioners (and any individual priests who felt so inclined) to donate money to assist the church in footing a bill, the tally for which comes to more than €10m, to meet the legal costs of defending civil cases brought against the diocese in relation to clerical sexual abuse. In other words the Roman Catholic Church in Ferns is asking the victims of its own bitter failings to pay the price for the crime -- it is a request which beggars belief.


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