It is understood that more than 20 priests in the Ferns dioceses have been implicated in child sexual abuse by the State inquiry, the report of which is to be published next week.

It is believed the report also endorses criticisms by an internal Garda inquiry of local garda management into the disappearance of the interview notes from the investigation into the abuse of ten girls in Monageer by the late Monsignor Jim Grennan.

The inquiry was chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge, Frank Murphy.

The inquiry was set up in 2003 by the then Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin, after the Bishop of Ferns, Brendan Comiskey, resigned amid cricitism of his handing of sexual abuse allegations in the diocese.