|UK Parish to Welcome Casey Back
Former Bishop of Galway Dr Eamon Casey Is Welcome to Return to His UK Diocese, Following Reports That He Has Been Cleared of Abuse Allegations
Galway Independent [United Kingdom]
January 18, 2006
Dr Casey stood aside from his ministry in the diocese of Arundel and Brighton last December, where he has served for the past six years, following allegations of abuse by a middle-aged woman.
The abuse was alleged to have taken place when the woman was a young girl in Limerick. Limerick Gardaí refused to comment on the allegations.
However, reports in the national media yesterday (Tuesday) indicated that Dr Casey was to be cleared of the allegations. It is understood that Gardaí consider there to be no substance to the claims that were levelled by the woman said to be known to Dr Casey.
Speaking to the Galway Independent yesterday, Bishop of the Arundul and Brighton, Dr Kieran Conry said that, while he has not received any confirmation of Dr Casey's clearance, Dr Casey's parishioners would be happy to have him back.
"Obviously we would wait to have the office confirm and then get advice from the bishops in Ireland. Then we'd be happy to have him back," Dr Conry said.
However, Dr Conry said he was not aware of Dr Casey's plans, as he had not spoken to him for some time. "I hope that people can come out of this happily enough," he said.
Meanwhile, spokesperson for the diocese of Arundel and Brighton,
Reverend Stuart Geary told the Galway Independent that they were not surprised by this week's revelations that the claims against Dr Casey were unfounded.
"As we got to know more about what was happening, we recognised that that was going to be the likely outcome. But you obviously don't want to pre-judge things," he said.
"The relevant authorities based their decision on whatever facts they were given and they decided not to proceed with the claim. Therefore, he has nothing to answer for," he added.
The Reverend said that he was aware that Dr Casey's parish appreciated all that he had done for them. "I expect that he'd be welcome back in."
As to whether Dr Casey's reputation would be somewhat tainted following the allegations, Dr Geary said: "I hope it doesn't taint him, otherwise we're all in danger of being tainted, aren't we? I hope people realise that the allegations have been dismissed and that there's nothing to answer for. Since there hasn't been a charge placed against him, he's innocent."
The controversial former bishop hit the headlines in 1992, after it emerged that he had fathered a son with Annie Murphy. The 79-year-old resigned as Bishop of Galway following the scandal and has not returned since.
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