Fr Bill Bermingham, the child protection delegate of the Cloyne Diocese in County Cork, has resigned, saying his handling of a child abuse case “caused further distress to the complainant.”

Fr Bill Bermingham was appointed to the position by the Catholic Church's National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) in 2008.

The resignation comes after controversy surrounding a report that claimed Fr Bill Bermingham took a statement from a woman alleging abuse and passed it along to the accused priest before he was questioned by the police.

The woman was made aware of the leaking of her statement and lodged a complaint to the NBSC.

Fr Bermingham claimed he reported the allegation immediately to the police and the Health Service Executive in the Irish Republic in accordance with Catholic Church guidelines, saying the guidelines required him to inform the accused person of the identity of the complainant and details of the allegation.

In a statement released on Saturday, Fr Bermingham said it was vital "any person" occupying his role within the Catholic Church should have the "complete confidence of victims of child sexual abuse" and that his "handling of this particular case has, despite my best intentions, served to undermine that confidence."

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