Priest's Long March: Cobh to Dublin

The Irish Times

December 27, 2008

Fr Mernagh will walk for nine days

A Dublin-based Augustinian priest will this morning begin a nine-day "walk of atonement" for all who have suffered clerical child sex abuse, from Cobh to Dublin's Pro-Cathedral.

Fr Michael Mernagh (70) has invited everyone to join him "if only for a few yards of the road". He leaves Cobh at 9am with the aim of arriving at Dublin's Pro- Cathedral on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany. His walk was prompted by the recent critical report by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland. Fr Mernagh has spent two nights over Christmas outside St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh, in a vigil for victims of clerical child sex abuse. Fr Mernagh said Bishop of Cloyne Most Rev John Magee had given his blessing to the venture. Fr Mernagh said clergy in Cloyne were "in a state of stress. Everybody is really suffering." Today he hopes to get as far as Youghal.


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