A spokesman for Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray has said he is remaining in Rome to await developments concerning his future.

It is the first statement on behalf of Dr Murray since he travelled to the Italian city on Sunday to discuss his future in the hierarchy.

He is one of a number of bishops criticised in the Murphy Report for their handling of allegations of clerical child abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

The spokesman said that Bishop Murray had an hour-long meeting with top officials in the Vatican last Monday.

He added it was not known when there would be a response to his explanation of his role in child protection in his former diocese of Dublin where he was an auxiliary bishop for 14 years until 1996.

The Murphy Commission said Bishop Murray had badly handled a number of complaints about and suspicions of clerical child sexual abuse and that, in one case where a priest was found to be abusing, his failure to reinvestigate earlier suspicions about him had been 'inexcusable'.

However, the spokesman said that of the nine cases with which Bishop Murray was associated in the report, he was criticised in three but that in none of these did he have an allegation that a child was being sexually abused.

He added that in five other cases where Dr Murray was the first to receive a complaint, the Commission did not criticise his responses and that his management of the remaining one of the nine cases was not criticised either.