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Ireland report into abuse by Catholic priests finds police coverup

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Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said that the report exposed "misguided or undue deference" shown by the police to religious institutions and said, "That has no place in criminal investigations, it certainly has no place in 2009 under my watch."

"This is not about failings or learning curves. This about the reckless endangerment of children in a calculated, purposeful strategy to protect the institutional Church," said the abuse charity One in Four in a press release.

The Murphy Report, which was redacted by Ireland's Supreme Court as several criminal cases are ongoing, concluded that there was little regard or concern for children who came into contact with clerical abusers, that known clerical abusers were moved to different areas and the recipient dioceses were not informed of their record, and that there was a failure to report allegations to the statutory services.

Garda Commissioner Murphy has apologized for the force's failure to protect victims of clerical child sexual abuse.

Prosecutions to follow

None of the officers named in the report are still working on the force. Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has warned that criminal investigations will follow the report, saying, "a collar will protect no criminal."

Mr. Ahern said that no one could expect to be above the law. "This is a Republic – the people are sovereign – and no institution, no agency, no church can be immune from that fact," he said at a press conference.

The state's past deference to the church has been condemned from legal quarters. Sean Corrigan, a barrister in Dublin, said the Dublin experience is in stark contrast to how the US authorities handled similar cases.

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