Bishop interviewed by gardai last year


A GARDA interview with the Bishop of Galway was required under the terms of their investigation, the Catholic Press Office said yesterday. "The gardai are required to interview anybody named in a statement made, to them in the course of investigations," a spokesman said.

The interview with Dr James McLoughlin was conducted late last year by gardai in Salthill. It followed a detailed statement made by a former resident.

He claimed that he had been sexually and physically abused while at St Joseph's Industrial School in Galway. The former resident also claimed that he had informed Dr McLoughlin, then chaplain at the school, which closed in the late 1970s.

"The bishop responded to the gardai in exactly the same terms' as in his public statement issued on Monday," the Catholic spokesman said.

It was also important to make clear that the Garda interview with the bishop was concerned with a claim made in a statement by one former resident, not two, as some media reports had suggested, the spokesman stressed.

In the statement, Dr McLoughlin had said he had no recall whatsoever of someone having complained to him of being sexually abused by Christian Brothers who ran the facility for boys orphaned or from broken homes. The bishop said he was satisfied that, if such a complaint had been made, he would have taken it seriously and acted upon it.