Atonement priest nears end of walk


A priest who has been walking for nine days to atone for clerical sex abuse will finish his walk tomorrow when he arrives at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral.

Fr Michael Mernagh (70) began his trek in Cobh, Co Cork, on December 29th and has walked more than 150 miles to date. He is walking from Blessington, Co Wicklow, to Rathfarnham, where he trained as a priest, today.

He held a vigil on Christmas Eve outside St Colman’s Cathedral to protest against the Diocese of Cloyne’s handling of sex abuse claims and the Church’s other failings over clerical sex abuse.

Fr Mernagh said he had been blessed by the weather on his journey which has been remarkably dry for the time of the year and by the dozens of people who had joined him on his walk.

“The more I have walked the more I feel it [child sex abuse] is widespread beyond our comprehension. I don’t think priests or bishops understand how widespread and serious it is.”