Ex-Brighton Priest, Accused of Sexual Abuse, Has Headstone Destroyed
Canon Dermod Fogarty’s legacy has been dramatically rewritten since his death
Dermod Fogarty, a fixture in the Brighton and Arundel diocese for 67 years, has been a figure of major controversy.
A dramatic video has revealed the destruction of the ex-senior churchman’s gravestone.
Following his death in 2012, a series of startling revelations surfaced.
An Oxford academic, Stephen Bernard, claims that Fogarty sexually abused him.
The abuse allegedly began when Bernard was aged just 11.
The claims were made in the acclaimed Paper Cuts, a book released by Bernard in 2018.
Bernard claims that the abuse spanned the course of four years.
Beginning in 1987, and ending in 1991, he cited over 300 counts of sexual assault.
Following his death, Fogarty was a much respected figure.
This is despite Bernard reporting the allegations to the Church briefly before his death.
The churchman’s funeral was even attended by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, then head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.
However, the Church itself subsequently agreed to remove the headstone.
The drive to remove the headstone was carried out by Fogarty’s next of kin, Deirdre McCormack.
She had chosen the words on his epitaph, which called Fogarty a “much-loved, wise priest”.
However, in the wake of the allegations, she has called this a “blatant lie”, regretting the praise bestowed upon him.
According to the church, the “headstone was removed… on Thursday 24 May” at the private cemetery of St John’s Seminary. It will be “replaced with a simple headstone”.