He was ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary on 25 June 1961, and appointed Bishop of Ferns on 4 April 1984. He had served as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin since 1979.
Comiskey's early clerical career was extremely promising. He was head of his order in Ireland and the UK by the age of 34, became a Bishop at age 45 and had his own diocese by age 47.
Diocese mired in clerical sexual abuse
The Ferns Report, published by the Irish Government on 25 October 2005 into child sex abuse in this diocese describes a catalogue of abuse between 1962 and 2002 involving 100 individual cases involving 21 priests during the tenures of Bishop Donal Herlihy (1964–1983) and later Bishop Comiskey.
Comiskey resigned in 2002 amid allegations that he did not report allegations that Fr Sean Fortune had abused a number of children while Comiskey was in control of the diocese. Fortune was a serial paedophile with a manipulative personality and Comiskey admits he found him difficult to deal with. Fortune committed suicide while on bail.
According to the founder of the abuse victims' charity One in Four, Colm O'Gorman, Comiskey was not alone in his responsibility to report the allegations to civil authorities. O'Gorman is quoted as saying, "It would be sad if he (Comiskey) was ultimately scapegoated in all this and the church failed to accept full responsibility".
- Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal
- Roman Catholic priests accused of sex offenses
- Crimen sollicitationis
- Appointments of Bishop Comiskey
- "Read Bishop Comiskey's statement of resignation". RTE News. 1 April 2002. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- "Pope accepts Comiskey's resignation". RTE News. 6 April 2002. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- Comiskey's turbulent career assessed
- BBC News on Comiskey
- BBC News story on Comiskey's resignation
- RTE News story about Comiskey
- Sunday Business Post 'Comiskey Proved A Formidable Foe'
- Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Donal J. Herlihy (1963-1984)
|Bishop of Ferns
1984 – 2002