The Bishop of Raphoe, Alan McGuckian SJ, in paying tribute to his late predecessor Dr. Séamus Hegarty, acknowledged the "tragedy of serious crimes of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests in the diocese" during his prelacy.
Bishop McGuckian said Dr. Hegarty's ministry as bishop had been "deeply challenged."
The late Dr. Hegarty was ordained Bishop of Raphoe on March 28, 1982 and was subsequently appointed Bishop of Derry in 1994.
Bishop McGuckuan said Bishop Hegarty had been challenged about his management of those situations involving allegations of child abuse perpetrated by priests during his prelacy in Donegal.
Addressing failures on his own part, Bishop Hegarty asked for forgiveness from those who suffered cruelly, said Bishop McGuckian.
Following his resignation in 2011 on grounds of ill-health, he stated, “I am deeply sorry that anyone was hurt through my management of allegations historically.”
The Diocese of Raphoe offers sincere sympathies to all those who loved Bishop Hegarty and grieve his passing.