An Irish bishop has resigned after increased criticism over how he dealt with revelations of an abusive priest.
Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore was criticised in a program on BBC Northern Ireland on 28th February, after it emerged that he concelebrated an anniversary Mass with a priest he knew had stepped down after being sent for treatment following complaints of abuse.
In a statement from his lawyer released to journalists on 1st March, Bishop McAreavey, 69, said: “Following media reports which have disturbed and upset many people in the diocese and further afield, I have decided to resign with immediate effect.”
Twelve people accused the late Fr Malachy Finnegan of sexual abuse. The priest, who taught at St Colman’s College in Newry, Northern Ireland, from 1967 to 1976, is also accused of physical and emotional abuse against students.
While Fr Finnegan was disciplined under his predecessor, Bishop McAreavey had been criticised in recent weeks for not making the cleric’s abuse public.
Picture: File photo dated 17/06/17 of Dr John McAreavey who was Bishop of Dromore in Northern Ireland, prior to his resignation. (Niall Carson/PA).