Wednesday 13 December 2017

Boarding school abuse probe widened as 30 contact gardai

Ralph Riegel

MORE than 30 people have now contacted gardai as part of an escalating investigation into alleged abuse at a prestigious former boarding school.

Three separate investigations are under way into abuse allegations at the former Colaiste an Chroi Naofa boarding school in Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork, in the 1970s and 1980s. The school was once one of the most prestigious Catholic boarding schools in the south run by the Order of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (OMSH).

The Irish Independent has learned that the garda probe -- launched after five formal abuse complaints were passed to detectives last month -- has now seen more than 30 people contact garda stations nationwide.

The surge in contacts follows appeals from both former students at the school and church officials for anyone who may have such information to contact the gardai or Health Service Executive (HSE).

However, it remains unclear how many of these contacts will go on to become formal complaints.

Garda sources indicated that they expect to be dealing with at least a dozen complaints of both sexual and physical abuse.

Detectives have already interviewed more than 16 people and are making arrangements to take statements from 14 more over the coming weeks.

The majority of allegations to date involve claims of physical mistreatment though a number do involve historic allegations of sexual abuse.

The school is now a co-education day facility and is under new management separate to the OMSH. It ceased boarding school operations in 1995.

The Towards Healing helpline on (1800) 30352 is available to all victims.

Irish Independent

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