The Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, said this morning that neither he nor his predecessor Bishop Séamus Hegarty knew of any letters alleging that Fr Eugene Greene sexually abused boys until Fr Greene’s trial in 1998.
Speaking on Highland Radio’s Shaun Doherty show ahead of a press conference this morning, Bishop Boyce said:
“I went through all the files and found no allegations against Fr Eugene Greene. I spoke to my predecessor, Bishop Hegarty and he assured me that the same thing was true in his case.
“At the time of the trial in 1998, a father of one of the boys said that he had written to the parish priest in the late ‘70s but this was the first time we had heard of the letter and we could find no trace of it.”
Bishop Boyce said he apologised to the victims and told them that “it should have been dealt with at the time”.
He added: “It makes me all the more determined to make our parishes, as much as possible, a safe place for children because they are our most precious possession.”