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Defamed priest 'not out for blood' over RTE programme

DEFAMED priest Fr Kevin Reynolds said today that he is "not out for anybody's blood". The cleric declared he was not seeking "blood" or revenge in the aftermath of official investigations into the behaviour of the Prime Time Investigates news team.

The former missionary said forgiveness was at the core of his Christian message and he would be a hypocrite if he was seeking vengeance.

He was wrongfully accused of raping a minor and fathering a child in Africa in RTE's Mission To Prey programme.

When asked today to respond to the leaking of briefing documents about the investigation by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Fr Reynolds told the Herald he would leave all such analysis to his solicitor.

Regarding the imposition of penalties on those responsible for broadcasting the untrue claims, he said: "I'm not out for anybody's blood."

"I've no feelings of vengeance or revenge. I've been a Catholic priest for 41 years. Forgiveness is at the core of the message of Christianity. I would be a hypocrite if I did not forgive.

"And I've no bitterness at all."

Fr Reynolds, speaking to the Herald from his parish in Ahascragh this morning, went on to say: "I got badly hurt. But healing comes from forgiveness.

"I would not want anyone to be hurt or to lose their jobs as families would be affected. There is enough unemployment already without more people losing their jobs," he said.

The priest said: "I don't have any resentments. I'm back in my parish. . . I've got to get on with my life. . . The feeling in Ahascragh is that people are getting tired of the whole thing. It's all come out in the wash."