The Cork Priest outed in the Irish Senate as a suspected child abuser has gone to ground in the wake of huge publicity.
His order, the Sacred Heart Missionaries, has apologized to anyone who had been abused by members of the order and appealed to people to report any such instances to police.
Fr Donncha Mac Carthaigh was named in the Seanad, the upper house of the Irish parliament, by Senator Mark Daly.
The Fianna Fail senator claimed that Mac Cartaigh’s Missionaries of the Sacred Heart order allowed the priest to work as a career guidance teacher with schoolkids after he was investigated for child sex abuse.
Daly also accused the order of not following its own child safety guidelines designed to keep priests suspected of child abuse away from children.
Fr Mac Carthaigh refused to talk to reporters outside his Cork apartment as Senator Daly issued a new statement on the claims.
“I am strongly concerned about the ability of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to ensure that its child safety guidelines are being followed so that harm is not caused to defenceless children,” said Senator Daly.
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When he addressed the Senate, Daly said the Sacred Heart Missionaries did not properly monitor Fr Mac Carthaigh’s movements even though he has previously faced seven sex-abuse allegations, one of which was settled out of court.
The priest had continued to train underage gaelic football teams, including the Cork minor football side, after he was placed on restricted ministry.
Daly added: “In my opinion the order is not making sufficient efforts to assist the victims of child abuse at the hands of priests in their order.
“I remain gravely concerned and thoroughly convinced that this order has not and is not taking sufficient steps to protect children in the Cork area and beyond.”
Fr Mac Carthaigh is currently living at the Sacred Heart Missionaries campus in Cork city.
In a statement, the order said: “We have met with Senator Mark Daly, heard his concerns and since then we have passed the details of his concerns on to An Garda Siochana (police).
“In keeping with our policies and practices, we have also responded to the issues raised and in doing so have kept the National Office for Safeguarding Children informed and sought their guidance.
“Recently we invited the national office to review all our procedures and information available to us on this critically important matter.
“Persons who have allegations made against them have been taken out of active ministry and are subject to restrictions in regard to access and travel.
“We again sincerely apologize to those who were abused by members of our order."
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