Kavanagh name change faces counter-petition

Calls to change the name of Dunedin's Kavanagh College have prompted a counter-petition to keep it.

Dunedin Bishop the Most Rev Michael Dooley said he received a petition yesterday signed by 197 people, predominantly present-day pupils, who supported retaining the Kavanagh name.

"We are of the view that the case to change the name is insufficient. However, we would happily revisit our stance if further evidence was to appear," the preamble to the petition said.

"We accept that there were events that took place prior to our college, under the supervision of Bishop Kavanagh, but we believe that the decisions made by him were best suited for the time and situation."

Bishop Dooley said two survivors abused by Fr Magnus Murray, a convicted paedophile priest, and Ian Thompson, a teacher at Kavanagh College's predecessor, St Paul's High School, had also contacted him recently.

Neither man supported changing the name of Kavanagh College.

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