Former Dublin auxiliary bishop Dermot O'Mahony has strongly criticized Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for not supporting his fellow priests in the Dublin archdiocese.

O'Mahony has also called on priests to question the Murphy report and the claims of a blanket cover-up of child abuse.

O'Mahony wrote several letters to Dr Martin about the issue and the correspondence was subsequently published in the Irish Catholic newspaper.

"The archbishop did nothing to counteract the statement of the Murphy report, widely circulated in the media, that the majority of clergy knew and did nothing. Indeed, I feel he made matters worse by giving an example of a parish that could be clearly identifiable to the priests of the diocese,” wrote O'Mahony.

O'Mahony defended the Dublin archdiocese attitude and actions towards sex abuse claims in previous years. He also criticized Martin for calling the "previous management of cases" as "inexcusable". O'Mahony was one of those criticized in the Murphy report for his poor handling of sexual abuse claims.

"To suggest our approach failed to take cognizance of the safety of children is inaccurate and unjust. The acceptance by media and current diocese policy that a cover-up took place must be challenged,”

“I said that your criticism was unfair. You were out of the diocese for 31 years and had no idea how traumatic it was for those of us who had to deal with allegations without protocols or guidelines in the matter of child sex abuse."

Archbishop Martin replied to the claims by O'Mahony in a letter dated December 2nd 2009. The letter was published by the Irish Times newspaper.

Martin criticized O'Mahony for not publicly expressing regret or remorse for the poor handling of sexual abuse claims.

"Your comments at Monday’s meeting of the Diocesan Council left me extremely concerned in your criticism and even rejection of the findings and of many of the underlying presuppositions of the commission of investigation into the sexual abuse of children by priests in the archdiocese of Dublin,” said Martin.

"I regret – and I know that this regret is shared by many believing people in the parishes in which you served – that your commitment as auxiliary bishop to the priests and people of the diocese now appears tarnished by the findings of the report and your refusal to recognise that fact," wrote Martin.

Following the publication of the Murphy report, O'Mahony claims that he sent a letter of apology to Archbishop's press office but it was never published.