Thursday 18 December 2014

How each diocese dealt with allegations

Published 11/12/2013 | 23:34

Bishop Noel Treanor with Barbara McDermot, Director for Safeguarding, Diocese of Down and Connor

ARMAGH: The audit team found some case files with significant gaps. It said there was "inconsistent filing leading to a lack of clarity about how decisions were made". But it also praised Cardinal Sean Brady for adopting a more focused and committed approach to the safeguarding of children since he took over.

ACHONRY: Bishop Brendan Kelly informed reviewers that the diocese did not have a safeguarding policy and procedures document in place before 2008.

A priest was allowed to remain in ministry even after the previous bishop had received an allegation, which was not reported or addressed.

The watchdog, however, commended the diocese for its work over the past five years.

CASHEL AND EMLY: Overall, the reviewers felt that all cases, involving 19 allegations against 13 priests, were well managed.

The report states that the compassion of the victims towards their abuser was striking in two cases.

However, it notes that the same compassion was not shown by one of the respondent priests, who often continued to deny the allegations.

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS: Only 12 brothers were convicted of crimes between 1975 and today.

A review of the congregation's files found that its initial response to the need to report abuse to the authorities was not systematic and was inadequate.

It revealed allegations were made against 325 brothers -- 50 of whom are still alive -- with 870 complaints of abuse in the 38-year period. Since internal reviews in 2007 and 2009, the safeguarding board said it is now satisfied that reports are made promptly.

DOWN AND CONNOR: This is the second-largest diocese in Ireland and includes the city of Belfast. The reviewers found 46 out of 48 criteria that make up the safeguarding standards had been met.

The two outstanding criteria refer to support for and monitoring of priests who have abused, and a written plan of action on implementing and monitoring standards.

Bishop Noel Treanor said: "My overriding concern as Bishop of Down and Connor is, and will continue to be, the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the diocese."

KERRY: The audit noted that one priest was dismissed from ministry at his own request but was later found in another part of the country with a job that gave him access to children.

Concerns over the handling of priests retiring to Kerry who may be subject of sexual abuse allegations.

The audit praised the diocese for improvements in managing abuse and suspected abusers.

KILTEGAN FATHERS: Also known as the St Patrick's Missionary Society, they were criticised for inadequate recording of allegations, incidents and suspicions.

The order was found to have failed children in the missions abroad by not treating them with equal concern as it might have Irish children.

Kiltegan society leader, Fr Seamus O'Neill, apologised unreservedly to victims of abuse and their families.

OSSORY: Found to have shortcomings in the past in dealing with complaints about unacceptable behaviour towards children and the timescales involved.

Bishop Seamus Freeman, who was ordained in 2007, has since dealt with allegations against two living priests -- his management of which has been deemed appropriate.

Irish Independent

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