Clergy in the Diocese of Ferns have been warned to avoid contact with children while not in public view.

A number of priests from the Diocese have been investigated by Gardaí and church authorities in the past decade regarding allegations of repeated sexual abuse of minors, and a Government-led investigation is ongoing.

A code of conduct and interim policy statement for clergy, staff and volunteers in relation to alleged cases of clerical child sex abuse is to be established in the Diocese.

Under this new code, clergy, staff and volunteers attached to Catholic Church activities are being told never to be alone in a car, building or closed room with a child or young person.

Pastoral ministry to a young person should only take place in a publicly accessible room with a clear glass window, and pastoral visits by children to the homes of volunteers, youth workers and priests are to be avoided.

The policy, which is being launched in churches throughout the Diocese this weekend, commits the Diocese to supporting victims who have been critical of the Church's response in the past, and ensuring offenders become accountable for their actions.

Priests within the Diocese are being asked to display the statement in church porches and the Diocesan authorities say they want to do all in their power to create a safe environment for children and young people.

Last year, the Bishop of Ferns Brendan Comiskey resigned from his position over his handling of sex abuse allegations against the late priest, Fr Sean Fortune.