“In addition, I wish to apologise for my own previous lack of understanding of the sinister and recedivist nature of the child abuser, and the life-long damage that this destructive behaviour has on victims.
Most of all – whilst I did notify the civil authorities at the time of these complaints – I profoundly regret and apologise for moving the priests concerned to different parishes thereby placing others at serious risk.
Both these parish changes occurred in the early to mid-1990s before the 1996 publication of Child Sexual Abuse: Framework for a Church Response, the first Catholic Church guidelines for the handling of abuse issues.
Whilst no further abuse has been reported, this act was a grave mistake on my part. I operate very differently now and will continue to do so in the future.”
Bishop of Clonfert, Dr John Kirby
Lars Biscuits writes:
Brendan Smyth’s extradition controversy brought down the Albert Reynolds’ government in 1994. It was one of the biggest news stories of that year after the World Cup and the IRA ceasefire. How Bishop Kirby can say he did not understand “the recidivist nature of the child abuser” lacks all credibility when Smyth’s crimes were so well publicised.