The Bishop of Raphoe says he has asked gardaí to investigate allegations of collusion and cover-ups in the diocese which were made in TG4’s Finné documentary this week.
The documentary delved into one of Ireland’s worst cases of child sexual abuse which occurred at the hands of the late Fr Eugene Greene and schoolteacher Denis McGinley in Donegal.
Bishop Alan McGuckian says that he immediately contacted Gardaí after watching the programme to ask them to investigate allegations made about collusion and cover-up in the Raphoe Diocese, involving members both living and dead.
The Bishop said he is planning to meet with Gardaí in the near future and offer them ‘every possible cooperation in any investigation in order to ascertain the truth.’
The harrowing Finné documentary exposed details from three decades of abuse carried out by Donegal priest Eugene Greene and the crimes of teacher Denis McGinley of Magheraroarty, who continues to live in the parish.
Bishop McGuckian said the documentary has revisited the pain and tragedy of child sexual abuse committed by clergy and others in the Diocese of Raphoe.
He said: “What happened is a source of revulsion and shame for all associated with the Diocese. It reminded me that the betrayal of trust felt, especially by the victims, but also by many others is so serious as to be almost irreparable.”
The Bishop also invited victims of abuse who are suffering in silence to come forward.
“I have a sense that many people in the Diocese suffer in silence with the burden of what happened to them or to people they love. I know also that many people want nothing to do with the Church or the Diocese. However, if it would be a support to anyone to contact us invite anyone who carries the pain of abuse to come forward and speak either to myself or the Designated Liaison Person. The number for the Designated Liaison Person, Margaret Northage, is: 086 2183011.”
As former Garda Martin Ridge and victims of abuse call for a forensic cold case investigation into Fr Greene, Bishop McGuckian said he will fully co-operate with the authorities.
“The Diocese supports and will give full cooperation to any effort to cast as much light as possible on this sad and tragic part of our history as a diocese and county. The form of any investigation will be a matter for the statutory authorities.
“However, any information which the Diocese of Raphoe holds in relation to the abuse of children is completely available to the Gardaí and the diocese is ready at all times to cooperate fully with any enquiries.”