Victim to learn if she can access Comiskey files on sex abuse priest

By John Murphy
Irish Examiner
July 24, 2002

A sex abuse victim who is suing Bishop Brendan Comiskey and the State in relation to the handling of abuse in the diocese of Ferns will find out today if she can have access to files on the priest at the centre of the scandal.

In 1988 Father Jim Grennan sexually abused Ms Fionan Gahan and others in her class in Monageer when they were receiving Confirmation tuition from him.

After complaints to the then principal of Monageer school the matter was jointly investigated by the gardaí and the South Eastern Health Board. Ms Gahan is suing Dr Comiskey for not controlling and supervising the parish priests of Co Wexford at that time.

Dr Comiskey quit as Bishop of Ferns on Easter Monday after criticism of his handling of sex abuse complaints in the Ferns diocese. He travelled to Rome for a meeting with Pope John Paul who accepted his resignation.

Dr Jim Walsh, an auxiliary bishop of Dublin, has since been appointed Apostolic Administrator in the diocese of Ferns.

Today, a judge in Dungarvan District Court will rule if Ms Gahan can have access to the documents on Fr Grennan.

Ms Gahan originally made application to Wexford Circuit Court to gain access to all documents in Bishop Comiskey’s possession relating to sexual assaults by the late Fr Grennan.

The application was adjourned to yesterday’s sitting of Dungarvan Circuit Court before Judge Sean O’Leary, but Ms Gahan’s counsel for deferment until today.

Martin Nolan, for the defence, consented to the adjournment, and the court was told when it comes before today’s sitting there may be mutual consent in relation to it.

The application by Ms Gahan for the documents discovery is also being made against the Justice Minister and Attorney General.



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