Catholic Church to publish latest tranche of child protection audits

Christian Brothers responses to be key focus

Cathlic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.

Cathlic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times.


The latest and largest tranche of reviews by the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog will be published later this morning.

The reports by the Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) will cover eight Church institutions, including the archdioceses of Armagh and Cashel, as well as the dioceses of Down & Connor, Achonry, Kerry, and Ossory, as well as the Christian Brothers and the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.

This fourth tranche of reports from the NBSC, which oversees child protection in the Catholic Church in Ireland will address both current practice in the institutions investigated as well as their handling of all allegations received since January 1st 1975.

Interest is likely to focus particularly on the Christian Brothers a congregation which incurred severe criticism from the Ryan Commission in its report, published in May 2009.

The Down and Connor review follows on criticisms of former NBSC chief executive Ian Elliott, who retired last June, by Bishop of the diocese Noel Traenor. He alleged Mr Elliott had been spinning to media against the bishops. This led to an internal investigation headed by former Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness which found there was no basis for the allegations against Mr Elliott. This was followed by a public apology from Bishop Traenor.

The reviews of both Armagh as well as Cashel and Emly archdioceses will bring to three the number of Catholic archdioceses in Ireland looked at by the NBSC. It leaves Dublin which is expected to be reviewed by April of next year. It is also the case that both Archbishops concerned, Cardinal Brady in Armagh and Archbishop Clifford in Cashel, are to retire next year.

With this latest tranche just four of the 26 Catholic dioceses in Ireland remain to be reviewed by the NBSC

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