Ireland to investigate sexual-abuse allegations
DUBLIN, Ireland -- The Irish government will appoint a lawyer to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clerics in southeast Ireland, the health minister said Thursday after meeting more than a dozen men and women who reported being abused as children.

Micheal Martin made his announcement after discussing plans with sex-abuse victims for a full state inquiry into the unfolding scandals in the Catholic Church. The Cabinet member said George Birmingham, one of Ireland's top lawyers, would have three months to present his findings, which could lead to an expanded inquiry led by a judge.