Priest on leave while allegation examined

 

A PRIEST in Co Kilkenny is taking a leave of absence while an allegation against him is investigated.

In a statement at the weekend Bishop of Ossory Dr Séamus Freeman said that “a safeguarding matter has arisen” and Fr Peter Muldowney, a priest of the diocese of Ossory, had asked him “to allow him a period of leave from ministry with immediate effect so that this matter can be addressed”.

“I have adhered to this request,” the bishop said.

“In compliance with our diocesan policy on safeguarding, this matter has been referred to An Garda Síochána, the HSE and to the National Board for Safeguarding Children. The presumption of innocence must prevail.”

Dr Freeman continued: “There can be no further comment until this matter has been clarified by the civil authorities.

“I ask you for your prayers for all concerned. I have appointed Fr Martin Delaney administrator of the parish of Mooncoin and he will take up duties with immediate effect.

Fr Muldowney has been parish priest of Mooncoin.

At Mass in Kilkenny city on Saturday evening, Fr Delaney told the congregation in St Canice’s church he had been asked to go to Mooncoin so that the allegation against Fr Muldowney could be investigated. The allegation is understood to relate to an alleged incident many years ago.