Wednesday 16 October 2019


Fr John Sweetman.
Fr John Sweetman.

THE PARISH PRIEST of Riverchapel is denying any wrongdoing after a complaint of child sexual abuse was made against him.

Fr John Sweetman is currently on leave from his duties in the seaside village pending the investigation into the complaint, which has been made by a woman and which dates back to his time as a curate in Wexford town in the early 1980s.

Fr Sweetman has been absent from the parish for almost two weeks now pending an investigation, in line with Diocese of Ferns procedures that were introduced in recent years. He returned to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church on Saturday evening to tell parishioners himself of the reason for his absence and to insist that the complaint made against him is without foundation.

Parishioners first realised something was amiss when the popular Fr Sweetman missed the recent First Holy Communion ceremony for Riverchapel National School. They have been stunned to learn the reason for him having to leave the area.

'Everyone in the area is absolutely shellshocked. It's devastating,' one local man said.

Fr Sweetman has served in Riverchapel since 2006, following a move from his previous post at St. Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy.