Wednesday 21 February 2018

Nothing positive about report -- victim

Kevin Keane

Abuse survivor Andrew Madden said last night the latest revelations about Tony Walsh were just another example of how the Catholic Church has covered up abuse.

"What's shocking here is that so many children were sexually abused after the first allegations about Tony Walsh came to light in 1978. And yet he was free to continue sexually abusing children," Mr Madden said.

He added that there was nothing positive that could be taken from the report.

"It's a further reminder of what happens when the welfare of an organisation and the avoidance of scandal is a higher priority than the welfare of children," Mr Madden said.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said it hoped the chapter of the Murphy Report concerning Walsh was a part of Irish history that was in the past.

Chief executive Ellen O'Malley Dunlop said abuse victims had suffered years of torment until they eventually got justice.

"The victims and their families stayed the course and some endured more than 15 years waiting to get justice in the criminal justice system. Today we can read the full truth of the extent of the sexual abuse of children by Tony Walsh and the cover-up and the delays that further traumatised the victims and their families," she said.

The centre urged anyone affected by yesterday's revelations to contact its 24-hour national helpline on 1800 77 88 88.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Catholic organisations have only paid a small fraction of the money they pledged to the State last year to help compensate the victims of clerical sexual abuse.

Just €20m has been paid out of a total €348m pledged following the publication of the Ryan Report. None of the property that was included in the agreement has been handed over.

In addition, €26m is still outstanding from a €128m deal that Catholic organisations struck with the State in 2002, which granted them indemnity from having to pay further sums for the compensation of abuse victims.

The figures come from a parliamentary question submitted by the Labour Party's education spokesman Ruairi Quinn.

He said the delay would hinder support for people who had suffered so horribly at the hands of members of the religious orders and that the public would be disappointed and angered at the slow pace of the payments.

"I hope that it does not represent an attempt by the Religious Congregations to renege on the agreement and the Government must now insist the pace of payments and transfers is accelerated, particularly given the horrendous economic problems we are facing."

Irish Independent

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