Bishop Seamus Hegarty’s statement re his term in Raphoe, Feb 2010

At a meeting in Maghera in February 2010, Bishop Seamus Hegarty categorically denied that he had been a party to any cover up of clerical sexual abuse in his term as bishop of Raphoe, in the period 1982-94. At that meeting (attended by VOTFI acting coordinator, Sean O’Conaill) Bishop Hegarty stated:

That while bishop of Raphoe he had had no knowledge whatsoever of Eugene Greene’s abuse of children;

That the PP of Gortahork had apparently known something of Greene’s abuse of children in the 1970s, but had not informed him;

That none of the charges for which Greene had been found guilty related to offences in the period 1982-94 during which he, Bishop Hegarty, had been bishop of Raphoe;

That the diocese did not become aware of Greene’s abuse of children until the late 1990s (i.e. after Bishop Hegarty moved to Derry);

That he had moved Greene twice during that period, 1982-94, but this was in the normal context of such changes – nothing to do with abuse of children;

That he did not know why Greene’s medical record was not released to the court that tried him;

That he (Bishop Hegarty) had acted quickly to remove another priest from ministry during his tenure, as a result of allegations of abuse;

That it was up to the present bishop of Raphoe, not up to him, to call for an inquiry into Raphoe, but that he would welcome such an inquiry.

Bishop Hegarty also stated that an allegation was made against Eugene Greene in the late 1990s or in early 2000, pertaining to an alleged incident which happened in Raphoe during his time as bishop. He noted that he was unaware of this incident, until told about it when the incident was referred to the DPP, who instructed that a case should not proceed.