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26/09/2021

Former Donegal priest Con Cunningham sentenced to prison for abusing two minors

Bishop of Raphoe issues statement following court case

Former Donegal priest Con Cunningham sentenced to prison  for abusing two minors

Former priest Con Cunningham. PICTURE: North West Newspix

In Letterkenny Criminal Circuit Court today, former Donegal priest Con Cunningham was sentenced to prison for 15 months for abusing two minors while in active ministry as a priest in the Diocese of Raphoe between the years 1972 and 1975. 

The Bishop of Raphoe, Alan McGuckian SJ., has issued a statement in relation to the case.

He said: “As Bishop of the diocese, I apologise unreservedly to the two victims. I am deeply sorry that as innocent children they had to endure this devastating and destructive abuse by someone in a position of sacred trust. I apologise to their families for the terrible destruction and pain caused by the criminal actions of a priest who acted so deviously.”

He continued: “Also at this time I am very aware of the parishes where Con Cunningham worked and lived. I am aware of the sense of betrayal, anger and shock of all parishioners.  I am sorry for the deep hurt that has been caused to them. I commend the two victims for their courage in coming forward and seeking justice.

“There is no doubt that in the past, the diocese has failed to act appropriately and expeditiously. People who have suffered abuse have felt unsupported by the diocese and not listened to. We regret this greatly. The Church  is continually working to ensure that such dreadful crimes do not happen again and that victims feel supported. 

“ If anyone has a concern or a complaint, past or present, I ask them to come forward and contact the statutory authorities and the diocese.”

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