'No room for complacency' as 116 new clerical abuse reports made
The head of the watchdog for clerical sex abuse has warned there is "no room for complacency" as it emerged 116 new allegations or concerns were reported last year.
Another 37 allegations of physical and emotional abuse were also reported to the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCCI), bringing the total complaints dealt with over that period to 153.
The figures represent a significant reduction in allegations, down by 112 compared to 2014 when 265 new allegations were reported.
The most recent incident of abuse reported to the National Board occurred in 2015.
The watchdog's CEO Teresa Devlin warned: "They do, however, still demonstrate a significant number of new allegations during the period under review.
"There is no room for complacency. It is not possible to remove all risks and you can't screen everybody out - but what you can do is put very quick reactive measures in place."