Murphy Report chapter can be published

Wednesday 15 December 2010 22.01
Tony Walsh - Convicted of 17 counts of sexual abuse
Tony Walsh - Convicted of 17 counts of sexual abuse

The High Court has ordered that a chapter of the Dublin archdiocese abuse report relating to former priest Tony Walsh can be published.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said that Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report can now be published following the conviction and jailing of Walsh last week on 17 counts of sexual abuse.

Although Walsh has a right of appeal, that case would be before the Court of Criminal Appeal, which does not involve a jury and therefore there would be no prejudice to witnesses by reference to the person named in chapter 19, the judge said.

The judge said he came to the conclusion the appropriate order to be made was to set aside the court's order of 15 October last year (withholding publication of chapter 19).

However, the judge said he was continuing an order restraining publication of another chapter of the report, Chapter 20, pending the outcome of criminal proceedings relating to a person named in that chapter. He adjourned that matter to next July.

The Murphy Report investigated how clerical child sex abuse allegations involving 46 priests in Dublin's Catholic archdiocese were handled by church and State authorities between 1975 and 2004.

Chapters 19 and 20 of the report were withheld when it was published on 26 November 2009, pending the outcome of proceedings involving Walsh and another man. Proceedings in the other case are ongoing.

Walsh was sentenced on 6 December to 16 years in jail, with four suspended, on 17 counts of sexual abuse, including five counts of buggery of one boy.