Bishop Donal Murray, former auxiliary bishop of Dublin and now bishop of Limerick since 1996, came in for severe criticism in the Murphy report for inexcusably failing to investigate complaints from sex-abuse victims.
Yesterday, Murray made a statement in which he rejected this finding by the Commission and refused to resign. But 0f course, indifference to the suffering of a victim is nothing unusual for Donal Murray.
In 1980 and 1981, a priest called Denis Daly, who had formerly worked in Australia, raped Peter McCloskey on multiple occasions. Peter was an 11-year-old child when he was raped. More than 20 years later, in 2002, Peter McCloskey approached Murray about his experiences at the hands of his rapist, but was met with hostility and aggression. Instead of listening to a victim’s suffering, Murray hired a highly aggressive lawyer, a specialist in protecting the church against such claims, and issued terrifying legal threats against Peter.
In 2004, McCloskey went to Australia to examine the file held on his abuser by the priest’s former diocese. The file contained documents covering 30 years of sexual abuse by Daly, and included correspondence between the Australian church authorities and those in Ireland.
When he came home, Peter McCloskey again aproached Murray but encountered further evasion, denial and hostility from the clergy even though these men knew perfectly well that Daly was a sexual abuser. The legal threats were repeated: if Peter went public with his accusations, the church would crucify him in a court of law.
Peter became depressed by Murray’s dismissal and rejection of his experiences. In March 2006 he attended what was euphemistically described as a mediation conference with the Limerick diocese, but which turned out to be a full-scale mental and legal assault on him.
This was the sensitivity Donal Murray showed to a rape victim. This was Donal Murray’s way of investigating a complaint against a priest of his diocese.
Two days later, Peter McCloskey took his own life.
Donal Murray is still in his bishop’s palace.
A recent comment had to be removed because it contained defamatory statements.
On further reflection, it has been decided to close the comments on this post, which is a most unusual thing for Bock, and therefore some kind of explanation is needed.
Without going into details, it seems that there is a dimension to this story outside the scope of the original post.
After discussion, a decision has been made that allowing further comments on this post would not be in the best interests of the McCloskey family.
All Bock posts on the Murphy Report