November 2004: Pope John Paul II meets former minister for foreign affairs Dermot Ahern, in his private library at the Vatican.  Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/AP Photo

The year 2004 was a significant one in the long, tortured annals of the clerical child sex-abuse scandal in Ireland. Particularly significant was the (...)

‘I am as human as any of you . . . it is the issue which has devastated my period of office,’ Desmond Connell said in Maynooth on April 8th, 2002 . Photograph: Donal Doherty/PA Wire

You could say Desmond Connell, who has died aged 90, became Archbishop of Dublin almost by default. His name was among the last to surface publicly du(...)

Tony Walsh (pictured) was described in the Murphy report as ‘the most notorious child sexual abuser’ to have come to its attention. ‘It is likely that he has abused hundreds of children,’ it said. On Tuesday, he was jailed for seven and half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Tony Walsh was described in the Murphy report as “the most notorious child sexual abuser” to have come to its attention. “It is likely that he has abu(...)