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Editorial: A landmark moment in Irish history

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny's scathing attack on the Vatican in the Dail was both unexpected and startling. Never before has an Irish Taoiseach used such language, accusing the Catholic hierarchy of putting the Church ahead of child rape victims.

Mr Kenny, a faithful, practising Catholic, charged the Vatican with downplaying or "managing" the rape and torture of children in order to uphold its own power.

The Cloyne Report had excavated the "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day", Mr Kenny said.

It was a damning assessment of Rome's attitude to paedophile priests -- and its attempt to "frustrate" an inquiry.

The Taoiseach's strong words needed to be said.

It was a landmark moment -- and a 21st century declaration of Irish freedom and independence.