Bishop Denis Brennan has praised the work of Bishop Eamonn Walsh after Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. Now retiring having reached the age of 75, Bishop Walsh served as Apostolic Administrator to the Diocese of Ferns from 2002 to 2006 following the resignation of Bishop Brendan Comiskey over his handling of child abuse scandals. Bishop Walsh himself came in for some criticism following the publication of the Murphy Commission report in 2009, which detailed 40 years of cover-ups in the Dublin Diocese. He tendered his resignation to the then Pope, but it was rejected at the time and he continued to work in Dublin.
Bishop Denis Brennan was full of praise for his colleague upon his retirement and described his work at a difficult time in Ferns as 'pioneering'.
'He imagined and implemented a safeguarding infrastructure - church and state - parish and society - local and national - that has become the blueprint of how the very distressing issue of abuse of children and failings in management are addressed - within and without - the Church in Ireland - and indeed beyond,' Bishop Brennan said.
He said that Bishop Walsh's work in Ferns must be viewed against the ongoing Dublin diocesan responsibilities he maintained whilst here and noted that he has become known for his 'very modern and caring work of outreach' to those who find themselves on the margins. Bishop Brennan wished Bishop Walsh 'every good wish and blessing as he now enters this new chapter of his priestly life'.