Cloyne's child-protection priest resigns in abuse-case controversy

The priest in charge of child protection in the Diocese of Cloyne has resigned over allegations he acted improperly.

Fr Bill Bermingham's resignation follows reports that he gave information to a priest regarding a sexual abuse complaint against the priest.

Archbishop of Cloyne Dermot Clifford accepted the resignation and praised Father Bermingham for his "unstinting and selfless" work to safeguard children in the diocese.

Last night, Fr Bermingham issued a statement saying he believed he had acted in accordance with the guidelines laid out by the HSE and the Church when dealing with child protection.

He was responding to media reports that when dealing with a complaint of clerical sexual abuse, he had handed over the details of the case to the priest being investigated.

In another statement released this evening however, Fr Bermingham says that, despite his best intentions, his handling of the case served to undermine the confidence of victims of child abuse.

He says that for this reason and in the interests of those who have been offended and in the interests of the Church’s policy for the safeguarding of children, he has asked the Archbishop to relieve him of his role of child protection Officer in the Diocese of Cloyne.

In a staement on the Diocese of Cloyne webiste, Fr Bermingham said he was "deeply upset that the complainant feels distressed by my actions. This was never my intention."

Archbishop Dermot Clifford accepted Father Bermingham's resignation and praised his integrity and commitment to the safeguarding of children in the Church.

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