Thursday 17 October 2019

Priest says no truth to abuse claim


A WELL-KNOWN Diocese of Ferns priest is denying any wrongdoing after a complaint of child sexual abuse was made against him.

Fr John Sweetman, a native of Carrig-on-Bannow, is currently on leave from his duties as parish priest in Riverchapel pending the investigation into the complaint made by a woman and dating back to his time as curate in Wexford town in the early 1980s.

Fr Sweetman had been away for almost two weeks, but returned to his parish church in Riverchapel on Saturday evening to tell parishioners himself that he has stepped down pending the investigation. A NATIVE of Carrig-on-Bannow, Fr Sweetman was born in 1953 and attended Danescastle NS and St Peter's College.

He later attended both the NUI and The Pontifical University at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, from 1971 to 1978, when he was ordained.

He then pursued postgraduate studies in Adelaide, Australia, before returning to the Diocese of Ferns in 1981, serving as curate in Wexford from his return until 1987.

He then served as Chaplain at Ely Hospital in Wexford from 1987 to 1992, when he was appointed curate and administrator to St Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy.

Fr Sweetman spent 14 years in Enniscorthy until 2006, when he was appointed parish priest in Riverchapel. In late 2009 he was appointed as the new Vicar for the Gorey Deanery and a Vicar Forane in the Diocese of Ferns.

He was also director of Family Life Services in the diocese from 1982 to 2007.