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Storm over priest's comments on abuse

ANGRY parishioners walked out of a mass in Banteer on Saturday evening after a priest made comments from the alter about the Ryan Report into the abuse of children in instutions run by religions orders.

Fr Con O'Donovan, who is aged in his late 70s, made the comments during his sermon at St Fursey's Church in Banteer at 8pm mass on Saturday last.

Parishioners told The Corkman that Fr O'Donovan had made a number of remarks about the effects on children of abuse they had



industrial suffered schools.

Some members of the congregation were upset by Fr O'Donovan's comments and left the church. It was claimed that 11 people left the church, but Fr O'Donovan told The Corkman that this figure was exaggerated.

The elderly priest also insisted that the response to his comments had been "blown out of proportion."

Fr O'Donovan was unwilling to comment on the content of his sermon. However, parishioners told The Corkman that Fr O'Donovan had remarked that it would be wrong to say that children had not benefitted from being brought up in industrial schools, given the circumstances they might otherwise have faced.

He also made comments that, some parishioners felt, tended to play down the suffering of children who were subjected to abuse in institutions run by religions orders.

He also asked the congregation to pray for the religious who worked in those institutions and earned only half a crown at that time.

On Monday morning, the radio station C103 received a flood of complaints from people concerning Fr O'Donovan's comments.

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