Monday, December 28, 2009

Victims put pressure on Bishop
Victims put pressure on Drennan
Bishop vows to fight 'guilt by association'

By John Cooney and Brian McDonald
Monday December 28 2009

TWO of Ireland's more prominent abuse victims last night called for the resignation of the last remaining bishop identified in the Murphy report.

The calls come as a second damning report into cover-ups of paedophile priests is now unlikely to be issued.

The embattled Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan reaffirmed his determination to face down Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and rejected the growing clamour for him to step down.

But abuse survivor Andrew Madden yesterday reiterated his call for the resignation of the 66-year-old bishop, a former Dublin auxiliary.

Meanwhile, abuse victim Marie Collins said it was now up to Pope Benedict to demand Bishop Drennan's resignation.

"If the Pope leaves him in place, it will mean that there is no change because he has to go," she said.

Mr Madden also challenged Bishop Drennan's claim that by the time of his appointment as a Dublin auxiliary in 1997, child protection structures were already in place.

"The framework document of 1996, which Bishop Drennan refers to, was flawed and Cardinal (Desmond) Connell told the commission it was not binding in canon or civil law so he could follow only those guidelines he wanted to follow," he said.

Mr Madden said he had emailed Bishop Drennan asking him to invite 60 victims of sexual abuse by priests in Dublin to meet him in Galway.

"Bishop Drennan advises against anger and adds insult to injury when he describes our calls for accountability as vengeful," said Mr Madden.

"He says he met with 60 priests from the Diocese of Galway and seems to enjoy their full support."

Last night, the Irish Independent learned from a source close to Judge Yvonne Murphy that further inquiries by the commission have shown that files brought to its attention on the eve of the report's publication on November 26 had proved to be "minor".


"A decision to issue a second report on the Dublin archdiocese is still to be taken but this is unlikely now," the source said, indicating that the commission is now engaged in its new investigation into the diocese of Cloyne, in Co Cork.

Over the weekend, Bishop Drennan stepped up the defence of his term as auxiliary bishop of Dublin from 1997 to 2005 and made it clear he had no intention of following the example of his four colleagues, who have all resigned in the wake of the findings of Judge Murphy.

In a move certain to test the resolve of Archbishop Martin for a clean sweep of the former management of clerical sex abuse cases in the Archdiocese of Dublin, Bishop Drennan challenged the notion he should resign because of "guilt by association".

Last night Archbishop Martin's spokesperson said he was not available for comment.

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