Church can’t whitewash abuse - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Abuse in Archdiocese of Dublin ‘something that must never be forgotten’
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “I repeat that the Murphy report represents and remains a true milestone which marks our history”
Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin warned last night against drawing a line under a “dark period in the history of the church in Dublin” now that the final chapter of the Murphy report has been published.
The Murphy commission investigated the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by church and State authorities in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese between 1975 and 2004.
Much of Chapter 20 of its report had been withheld pending the trial of former priest Patrick McCabe, which ended last March. On the publication yesterday of the remaining excerpts, the Archbishop revealed he was “aware of allegations against Patrick McCabe by over 30 named persons here and in the United States”.
The commission had been aware of 21.
Archbishop Martin said: “There are still those who would challenge the work of the Murphy commission. I repeat that the Murphy report represents and remains a true milestone which marks our history. What happened to children in the Church of Jesus Christ in the Archdiocese of Dublin is something that must never be forgotten . . . It is a part of the history of the archdiocese and can never be whitewashed away.”
The report is very critical of how the McCabe case was handled by three previous Archbishops of Dublin – archbishops Dermot Ryan and Kevin McNamara and Cardinal Desmond Connell. It is equally critical of the Garda’s handling of the case.
Where the church authorities were concerned, it said: “This case encapsulates everything that was wrong with the archdiocesan handling of child sexual abuse cases. The story speaks for itself. Archbishop Ryan not only knew about the complaints against Fr McCabe, he had a considerable understanding of the effects of abuse on children.”