Walsh Defends Action over Child Abuse Priest

Irish Examiner
May 1, 2007

The Bishop of Killaloe Dr Willie Walsh has admitted that he referred a Clare priest later convicted of child sex abuse to a psychiatrist in 1995, but was told he posed no danger to children.

Dr Willie Walsh has confirmed that Fr Con Desmond, who was given a suspended sentence last month for abusing a Waterford schoolboy in the 1980s, came to him in 1995 expressing worries about sexual abuse cases in general.

Despite his concerns at the time, the bishop has insisted he knew nothing of Con Desmond's crimes until gardaŪ told him of an allegation in 2002, at which point he removed the priest from his parish duties.

Bishop Willie Walsh has defended his actions: ĎOn the grounds of natural justice you could not move anybody, be it priest or anybody else, from their position, on the basis that I had no complaint and an assurance from the psychiatrist in regard to children.

"In all the cases Iíve dealt with Iíve always made protection of children paramount," said Dr Walsh.


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