Irish woman apologizes in court for false allegations of sexual abuse against Catholic priest

A woman praying  - Irish woman apologizes for falsely accusing priest

Eileen Culloty, of Currow in Killarney, Co Kerry, apologized in the High Court this week for making false allegations of abuse against Fr Liam O’Brien in 2008. 

The Irish Independent reports that Culloty wrote a letter to the bishop of Co Kerry in December 2008 lodging false allegations of abuse against Fr Liam O’Brien, who hadn’t been working at Culloty’s parish for 14 years at that point.

Aside from sending the letter to the bishop, Culloty also complained to the Garda, HSE, and Personal Injury Assessment Board. In February 2011, Culloty also disrupted a funeral mass which Fr O’Brien was officiating.

Along with her siblings, Culloty lives very near to the presbytery where Fr O’Brien lived when he worked at the parish. Fr O’Brien now lives in Killorglin, Co Kerry.

On Wednesday, June 5, Culloty’s lawyer read an apology letter to the High Court on behalf of Culloty. In the letter, Culloty asserted that her 2008 allegations were entirely false.

“I wish to categorically also put on record that you [Fr O’Brien] never acted inappropriately towards me, or any member of my family, in any way whatever, either sexually, physically, verbally, psychologically, or otherwise,” she wrote.

Neither Culloty nor Fr O’Brien were present in court for the apologies; both were represented by their lawyers.

Fr O’Brien’s lawyer Robert Dore said his client had agreed not to pursue his actions for damages and defamation against Culloty.

Fr O'Brien had also sought orders restraining Culloty from harassing him over the false allegations.

The presiding Justice Elizabeth Dunne agreed to a request from Fr O’Brien’s lawyer to adjourn the matter generally, meaning it can come back before the court if there are any further incidents.

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