Statement by Archbishop after sentencing of priest

 

The following is the text of a statement by the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neay, after the sentencing of Father Joseph Summerville.

I wish to express my profound regret about the sexual abuse of a child by a priest of this diocese, Father Joseph Summerville, who was sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

I wish to acknowledge the grave wrong which has been done to the young man and I express my deep sorrow to him and to his family. It will be some relief to them that the criminal process is at an end. I hope that today's proceedings will be a step towards healing their pain and anguish.

The priest's conviction has understandably shocked and distressed the wider community with whom he served. I recognise that they too have a sense of hurt.

This is also a time of shame and remorse for the priest himself and of very great distress for his family.

Our prayers and energy must now be directed towards healing the hurt of all who have been affected by these events.