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Monday 27 February 2017

Last chapter of Cloyne: Anger over abuse date report timing

Lyndsey Telford

Ellen O'Malley Dunlop , CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Ellen O'Malley Dunlop , CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

VICTIMS of clerical child sex abuse are "angry and upset" by the publication of the final part of a report into their allegations so close to Christmas, a support organisation chief has said.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) chief executive Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop criticised the timing of the Cloyne Report, which is expected to reveal how former Bishop John Magee failed to deal with abuse complaints in his Co Cork diocese.



"To have this report published Christmas week is insensitive, to put it at its mildest," said Ms O'Malley-Dunlop.



"Victims calling the national 24-hour helpline are angry and upset at the timing of this publication, as Christmas is an emotive time for them anyway."



The initial report into the serious failings in the handling of child sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese was published by church watchdog the National Board of Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) just before Christmas 2008 - also on December 19.



It revealed how Bishop Magee took minimal action over a series of child sex abuse allegations against two of his priests.



Then children's minister Barry Andrews was among a number of politicians to call for his resignation over the Christmas holidays, which Bishop Magee refused to tender until March 2010.



The NBSCCC report sparked a statutory inquiry by the Commission of Investigation, which examined how the Catholic Church handled allegations of sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese between 1975 and 2004.



The bulk of the Cloyne Report, published in July, found Bishop Magee deliberately misled authorities and failed to report allegations of clerical abuse as recently as three years ago.



The final section is likely to deal with how he did not deal with complaints specifically against a cleric known as Fr Ronat - a pseudonym for a priest involved in ongoing criminal proceedings.



"The DRCC will always welcome the publication of reports into allegations of child sex abuse so that the victims/survivors can get justice. It is important that we as a society can learn from the terrible ignorance and atrocities of the past so that these atrocities will not be repeated in the future," Ms O'Malley-Dunlop went on.



"However, we hope that the publication of chapter nine in full will give those survivors of clerical sexual abuse validation, and that they know that their stories are truly believed, and that the cover up that was endemic in the Cloyne diocese has now been exposed in its entirety."



She added that anyone affected by the report should call the HSE's counselling service on 1800 234 116 or the National Rape Crisis 24-hour helpline on freephone 1800 778 888.



The fallout from a separate sex abuse scandal rocked the Catholic Church during Christmas 2009 when four of five senior clerics resigned after they were found to have mishandled abuse allegations in the archdiocese of Dublin.



Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray resigned from his post a week before Christmas.



He was followed by Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin James Moriarty, who stepped down the day before Christmas Eve. And finally auxiliary bishops in the Dublin Archdiocese Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field bowed to public pressure to quit and announce their decisions on Christmas Eve.



The last of the five named in the Murphy Report, Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan, refused to stand down and still holds his post.



A year later, in the run-up to Christmas 2010, a previously censored chapter of the report was released.



It revealed that the Vatican had wanted jailed paedophile priest Tony Walsh to serve in a monastery instead of being forced out of the church.



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