Gardai to Quiz Bishop Casey in England on Abuse Claims|
Investigation Now Likely to Delayhis Planned Return to Galway
By Eugene Hogan, Brian McDonald and Bernard Purcell
January 22, 2006
GARDAI will travel to the UK within weeks to interview former Bishop of Galway Eamonn Casey about an alleged sexual assault against a young girl over 20 years ago, the Irish Independent has learned.
But the investigation could take several months to complete.
And that could delay the 78-year old prelate's much-publicised return to this country.
It had been expected he would retire to a rural Co Galway parish in the near future.
Confirmation that the Garda investigation was still continuing came after a weekend of confusion. It started with the Bishop of Galway Dr Martin Drennan welcoming his predecessor's move home.
He then called on him to issue a public apology over the Annie Murphy affair.
But Dr Casey insisted last night that he had made a full, humble and contrite apology after it emerged 14 years ago he had fathered a son with Ms Murphy.
Last night he said he had made it clear "more than once" that he was sorry for the hurt caused to parishioners.
"I have, in fact, publicly apologised more than once and it was made abundantly clear in an article in one of your own newspapers," he said.
Dr Casey has repeatedly said he will not return to Ireland until the investigation into the alleged assault is complete.
Contrary to weekend media reports, Garda sources confirmed last night that the investigation is 'very much alive'.
Officers have interviewed the complainant twice in recent weeks at her UK home. The woman is understood to be in her early 30s.
She claims she was assaulted as a child. Dr Casey strenuously denies the allegation and is confident he will be vindicated.
He also said he has not been contacted by gardai about their investigation.
"The only thing I have heard about these allegations is from people in Ireland ringing me to say that they have seen them reported in the Irish media."
Gardai had hoped to interview Dr Casey after he returned home.
Buy they will now travel to Britain to question him.
"By no means is this investigation over and reports suggesting such are ill-informed," one garda source said. "We have been over to interview the woman in question twice and will be making arrangements now to interview Bishop Casey."
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