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Funeral apology

06 December 2013

AN AUGUSTINIAN RC priest who, at a funeral he was conducting in Cork, prayed publicly that a former mayor of the city, who was on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenager in 1996, would be found not guilty, has been condemned by his Provincial, and by the RC Bishop of Cork & Ross, Dr John Buckley.

Mourners at the funeral were shocked at the prayer, which Dr Buckley described as offensive and entirely inappropriate. He said that the visiting priest, who is believed to be a friend of the accused man's family, does not hold a position in the RC diocese of Cork & Ross.

The accused, John Murray, who is 83, was found guilty of the offences the next day by a jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The Prior Provincial of the Augustinian order in Ireland, Fr John Hennebry, said that the friar concerned now accepted that his words had been inappropriate.

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