Wronged Irish priest says life was horrific after accusation of rape
DNA test revealed he did not father teenager’s child in Africa
The priest wrongly accused by Irish television of raping a teenager in Kenya and fathering her child has revealed how he was advised not to take on the might of state broadcaster RTE.
Fr Kevin Reynolds has received over $1.5million in libel damages from the Irish station after the false accusation were made earlier this year in the Prime Time Investigates programme ‘Mission to Prey.’
The priest, asked to stand down from his current parish work in Galway while he fought the case, had to take a paternity test which proved negative and take RTE to Dublin’s High Court before the station admitted they were wrong.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, he said: "I feel very relieved it's all over. It has been an awful and devastating experience. So, so, so distressing -- not only for me but for my family and for my parish.
"I want to say now, I do not have any feelings of revenge or anger. I just want to get over this and on with my life.
"I am not looking for blood. I'm not looking for any revenge. As a priest, of course, whoever wrongs me, I will forgive them and I can say from the bottom of my heart they are forgiven."
Reynolds had offered to take a paternity test to prove he was not the father, but the program went ahead and accused him anyway.: "Of course, it tested my faith. It rattled me in every respect. Not only socially, but also spiritually.
"But I knew from day one I had a clear conscience; I knew it was not true. And my faith remains intact as it was -- as strong as ever.
"The worst day was signing a form to say that I would freely withdraw from all public priestly ministries. That was very difficult.
"But the lowest point of all was driving to Dublin alone on the eve of when the programme was to be aired. Driving out of my priesthood, out of my parish in a complete daze, wondering what on earth had happened. My whole world had collapsed.
"That's an experience I wouldn't like to relive. I didn't sleep that night and there was no sleep for many, many nights after that."
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