Irish newspapers apologize for fake Rome seminarian sex scandal story

Irish Central

June 30, 2019

Top Irish newspapers The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, and The Evening Echo have printed formal apologies for a seminarian sex scandal story regarding the Pontifical Irish College in Rome that proved to be fake.

In May 2018, The Irish Times published a story claiming that two seminarians were dismissed from the Pontifical Irish College in Rome after being found in bed together. The story was subsequently reported by a number of other media outlets.

Claims that the sex scandal occurred after students attended a Mass commemorating Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae on artificial birth control also proved to be false. There was no such Mass.

Connor Gannon, a former clerical student at the college in Rome, launched High Court proceedings against a total of eight newspapers to clear his name.

The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner and the Evening Echo have all issued apologies acknowledging they referred to and identified Gannon. The three newspapers have said there was no truth in and no basis for the allegations made, reports.

Each publication acknowledged that the article was “false and should not have been published” and have agreed to pay damages to Gannon for the “upset and distress caused to him by the article.”

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