Bishop tells mass-goers parish priest on leave over child sex allegations

Fr Owen Collins, parish priest of Drumgoon, Cootehill, Co Cavan, “voluntarily agreed to take administrative leave”

Bishop Leo O’Reilly:   “It is important to stress that the priest enjoys the right to the presumption of innocence”

Bishop Leo O’Reilly: “It is important to stress that the priest enjoys the right to the presumption of innocence”

Mon, Nov 4, 2013, 10:01

A Catholic parish priest in the diocese of Kilmore has taken voluntary leave pending an investigation into a complaint “which raises concerns in relation to child safeguarding matters”.

The announcement in relation to Fr Owen Collins, parish priest of Drumgoon, Cootehill, Co Cavan, was made yesterday in a statement from the Bishop of Kilmore, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, which was read at all Masses in the parish.

The bishop’s statement said, “I deeply regret to inform you that I have received a complaint against your parish priest. He has, in accordance with child safeguarding procedures, voluntarily agreed to take administrative leave whilst an investigation takes place.

“It is important to stress that the priest enjoys the right to the presumption of innocence whilst these matters are being investigated.

“From experience, I am aware that investigations of this nature can take a considerable time to complete. Pending the outcome of the investigation I have appointed Fr Paul Casey as acting parish priest of this parish.”