Martin denies vilifying senior clergy criticised in Murphy report

Association of Catholic Priests commissioned critique of report ‘flawed’, says Archbishop

 Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “From what I know nobody mentioned in the Murphy report was at a meeting with the commission without a legal person being present.”  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “From what I know nobody mentioned in the Murphy report was at a meeting with the commission without a legal person being present.” Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Bishops and senior clergy criticised over the handling of abuse allegations need to take personal responsibility for their roles, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, the archbishop rejected claims by Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) co-founder Fr Tony Flannery that he had vilified Dublin bishops and senior clergy who were criticised in the Murphy report.

Archbishop Martin said after the report came out: “I made it very clear publicly that I felt there was an unwillingness to address the report and I said that I felt that every person that was named in the report should give an account. By that I was not saying they were guilty.”

Responsibility

One person would say “I put in the sugar, that’s all I did”, said the archbishop, while another would say “I put in the milk . . . I put in the flour”. But “nobody was responsible for the cake”.

In his comments, Fr Flannery referred to the ACP-commissioned critique of the Murphy report by barrister and retired Hong Kong district justice Fergal Sweeney.

The critique had convinced him “that there were serious faults with the work of Yvonne Murphy on this occasion, and also with the legislation underpinning the Commission of Investigation”.

‘Flawed’ conclusions

Mr Sweeney

Mr Sweeney “came to the conclusion that there are flaws in that legislation. These didn’t necessarily offer the possibility of defending yourself. From what I know nobody mentioned in the Murphy report was at a meeting with the commission without a legal person being present. Every diocesan priest, including bishops, who went was offered the legal support of the diocese of Dublin.”