Northern Ireland

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin 'ashamed' at church failures

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Dr Diarmuid Martin said he was 'ashamed' of the church

The Archbishop of Dublin said there are groups in the Vatican and the Irish hierarchy trying to undermine child protection measures.

Speaking on RTE on Wednesday, Dr Diarmuid Martin said there were systems in place that were ignored.

His comments come after Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny launched an attack in parliament on the Catholic Church.

Mr Kenny said the recent Cloyne Report into allegations of priest sex abuse showed change was needed.

In an unprecedented attack, the taoiseach said the historic relationship between church and state in Ireland could not be the same again and the report exposed the "elitism, dysfunction, disconnection, and narcissism that dominated the Vatican".

Dr Martin said he was "impressed by the emotion that the taoiseach brought into this".

He said he was also "angry, ashamed and appalled" by those "who felt they were able to play tricks" and "by anybody who does that, whether they be in the Irish church, the Vatican or anybody else who faces child protection".

'Miffed and angry'

"I'm very disappointed and annoyed. What do you do when you've got systems in place and somebody ignores them?" he said.

"What do you do when you have got groups either in the Vatican or in Ireland who try to undermine what is being done or simply refuse to understand what is being done."

Dr Martin said he had delivered over 70,000 documents to the Murphy Commission and "reported every case that I've ever known to the gardai".

Derry priest, Fr Michael Canny, said the actions of the Vatican had been a source of frustration for him.

"Many times I have felt frustrated. Some of my colleagues are actively involved with it," he said.

"The Cloyne report has really undermined them and they do feel miffed and angry about this because the carpet has been pulled under their feet of all the good that's been done here over the last number of years."

More on this story