Summaries of HSE diocese audits
Below is a summary of the HSE audit findings for each diocese:
The diocese failed to include allegations that fell within the ambit of the audit, including claims against seven deceased priests and one widely publicised allegation
One priest in question is still ministering elsewhere in the world and it is not clear if he was ever formally risk-assessed, but church authorities in that country have been notified of the allegation.
ARDAGH and CLONMACNOIS
This includes most of counties Longford and Leitrim and parts of counties Cavan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.
Four allegations were provided by the diocese, including two against deceased priests. The diocese reported difficulties in contacting the HSE to report two allegations against one priest. It informed the gardaí six days after receiving the allegations and tried to contact the HSE 10 days after receiving them. It eventually made contact 17 days after receiving the allegations.
The audit said all allegations should ideally be reported within one to three days to the civil authorities. “It is appreciated that this diocese has experienced difficulties in contacting the HSE when the designated child care manager was on leave.”
This archdiocese includes almost all of Co Louth and Armagh, and parts of counties Meath, Derry and Tyrone but the audit refers only to the portion of the archdiocese in the Republic.
Eight allegations were made against two deceased priests while two living priests had allegations made against them. “The diocesan audit returns state that neither priest has been convicted of child sexual abuse.”
Recommendations include putting arrangements in place for seeking the view of parents, children and carers about policies and practices; the development of a complaints policy and a clear statement on confidentiality.
CASHEL and EMLY
This archdiocese includes most of Co Tipperary and parts of Co Limerick.
Details of 11 allegations were provided by the diocese, two of which were against deceased priests. One priest accounted for four allegations and is out of ministry.
There was a nine-year period in relation to one allegation being reported to the civil authorities “and the reason provided by the diocese was that the complainant did not wish to report the allegation”.
The archdiocese said there was no child protection concern as the priest had already been removed from ministry at the time of the allegation but the audit said “whether or not a priest has removed from ministry is immaterial to whether an allegation should be reported”.
The diocese includes most of Co Fermanagh and parts of counties Tyrone, Monaghan, Donegal, Louth and Cavan but the audit refers only to the portion of the diocese in the Republic of Ireland.
Some 18 allegations were made against five priests but 14 of those were against one priest. A further allegation was made against a deceased priest in relation to an incident abroad.
The length of time it took to report allegations to the civil authorities was “varied and lengthy and not in compliance with Church guidance”, the audit found. It said it was not acceptable that three of the four allegations notified to the diocese in 2009 took from over one month to over three months to be reported.
“It is also disappointing that in 2006 and 2010 the diocese stated in its audit returns that it had reported all allegations promptly, when in fact this was not the case in the reporting of 11 out of 13 analysable allegations.”
The diocese of Clonfert includes parts of counties Galway, Offaly and Roscommon. Details of 11 allegations were provided to the audit. It found that there was “ substantive time” taken by the diocese in reporting eight allegations. In one case there was a two year delay and in the remaining seven it was between seven and 13 years.
The seven allegations were notified to the diocese between 1997 and 2002 but not reported to the HSE or gardaí until 2010. When the diocese completed an audit questionnaire in July 2009 it said four allegations were known to it. “However the most recent diocesan audit returns indicate that when that questionnaire was completed ten allegations were known to the diocese.”
This diocese includes most of Co Cork. Data on 30 allegations was provided to the audit, including 12 against deceased priests. The remaining 18 were made against nine priests, three of whom are in ministry.
The report said a forensic psychologist chosen by the HSE had undertaken risk assessments of a number of priests in the diocese. “However it is not clear if the three priests in ministry who have had allegations made against them have been risk assessed.”
It said there continued to be room for improvement in speed of reporting allegations to the civil authorities.
CORK and ROSS
This includes Cork city and part of Co Cork. Details of 47 allegations were provided by the diocese, including five against deceased priests. Of the surviving priests, three had six or more allegations made against them, accounting for half of the allegations.
No priest currently ministering in the diocese was the subject of an allegation. Two priests out of ministry in the diocese had allegations made against them elsewhere in the world.
The report said data quality was “poor with incomplete dates provided in over a quarter of cases”. It said that while the speed of reporting had “improved considerably, there is substantive room for improvement [and] the diocese must strive to ensure that all allegations are reported promptly.”