Former archbishop had sex with ‘quite a lot of people’, court told

Irish Independent

Tim Healy

A former Catholic Archbishop had sexual experiences with “quite a lot” of people, the High Court has heard.

Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) admitted to having relationships with women but is suing RTÉ arising out of its ‘Prime Time’ ‘Mission to Prey’ programme broadcast on May 23, 2011. Mr Burke claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.

Yesterday, he denied the reason a woman was “deeply troubled” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

He told the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

Under cross-examination on the fifth day of his action he said that when they first had sex, Ms Atwood was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships.

He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

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