The Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, Dr William Crean, has announced that a former priest of the diocese, Daniel Duane, has failed to have his dismissal from the priesthood overturned.

Mr Duane, who is in his late 70's, has twice been tried and found not guilty at the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork of indecently assaulting teenage girls.

In a statement issued today, Dr Crean said that last January, he had announced that Mr Duane had been dismissed from the clerical state following a Canonical - or internal Church - trial for the crime of abusing minors and that his appeal of this penalty had been rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. 

He said an attempt to make a further appeal to Rome has not been upheld and that Mr Duane is no longer a priest and continues not to be allowed to exercise any form of priestly ministry.

Bishop Crean reiterated his New Year statement of gratitude to the survivors of abuse who had the courage to come forward to tell their stories. He said the process has been a long and painful one for all involved.

The bishop also reassured the people of the Diocese that comprehensive child safeguarding measures are in place there and he again encouraged any person who may have any child protection concern whether from the past, or the present, to contact the relevant Statutory Authorities or the Diocese through the Designated Liaison Person 086-0368999.