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Magee goes into hiding after return to Ireland

FORMER Bishop of Cloyne Dr John Magee is at a secret location after dramatically returning to Ireland.

His return from overseas has sparked renewed demands for him to answer questions about the damning revelations of the Cloyne Report into how his former Cork diocese mishandled clerical child abuse allegations.

The Herald can reveal that Dr Magee (74) has already visited his retirement property in Mitchelstown, north Cork.

However, he was not at the parochial house in the town last night -- and local sources indicated to the Herald that he was staying with friends at an undisclosed location.

The Newry-born cleric stayed at the house for a night earlier this week after spending a substantial time overseas.

Pressure is now mounting on the former Vatican official from Church, diocesan and parish sources to personally address key issues in the Cloyne Report.

The Catholic Church refused to comment on whether the former bishop had fresh questions to answer.

Church spokesman Martin Long said he had nothing further to add to Archbishop Dermot Clifford's earlier comments.

Archbishop Clifford -- who is now running the Cork diocese -- comprehensively dealt with the report publication last month and said he understood that Dr Magee was abroad.

However, he said it would have been "helpful" if Dr Magee had personally faced the media.

A Cloyne diocesan spokes-man said Dr Magee had not informed them about whatever future plans he may have.

Gardai have no plans to contact Dr Magee over the Cloyne Report.

The probe was damning of Dr Magee and his former Vicar-General Monsignor Denis O'Callaghan over how they mishandled abuse complaints involving 19 clerics over a 12 year period.