Extradition proceedings against a priest identified in the report of the Dublin archdiocese commission of investigation could take up to three years to complete if as expected he resists attempts to prosecute him here, the Sunday Tribune understands.

However, it remains to be seen what effect, if any, this will have on the timeframe for publication of the chapter of the report in which he features, as it is up to the High Court to decide what references can remain in the version to be published shortly.

The case involving the priest is believed to be at the centre of concerns expressed by the DPP last month which led Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to refer the report back to the High Court for consideration for a second time.

It is understood that one option might be to provide the priest with a pseudonym while publishing the relevant chapter, which runs to about 60 pages.

However, this would effectively mean that the individual will not be named publicly until the case against him has been concluded.

The 60-page chapter in which he features is believed to be particularly damning of the state and gardaí, prompting some speculation yesterday that there is a reluctance in official circles to see it published in full.

The report was cleared for publication, with some sections edited out, by Judge Paul Gilligan last month. But the following day the Director of Public Prosecutions raised fresh concerns that its publication could jeopardise legal proceedings against the priest.

It is understood that it had been believed that it would not be possible to extradite the priest in question, but that this situation changed after authorities here were told that this was not in fact the case.

However, well-placed sources have privately expressed concerns that any extradition proceedings could take between two to three years to complete.