A retired Catholic priest, who worked in Co Galway in the diocese of Clonfert, is being investigated for alleged child sex abuse.

The Bishop of Clonfert, Dr John Kirby, has said the allegations related to a period in the 1970s before the priest came to work in Clonfert.

It is understood the priest belonged to a foreign diocese and the allegations against him only came to light recently.

Dr Kirby said the priest is currently under full time medical supervision and on being advised of the allegation the church authorities informed both the gardaí and HSE.

He said that the priest was no longer involved in parochial work and had stood aside from the public celebration of the Eucharist.

Dr Kirby said he wanted to state that making appropriate response to all aspects of complaints of sexual abuse has been and is an absolute priority for him and he was fully committed to the protection of children.