Apologising for child abuse

Wed, Mar 21, 2012, 00:00

Sir, – Justice Seán Ryan, chairperson of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, states that the Oblates, in response to the commission, “did not make any apology” (Home News, March 13th).

In a public statement in relation to our appearance at the Commission on June 6th, 2006, the Oblates stated: “We accept and do not contest that that the punishment as described by some of the complainants was unreasonably severe . . . We unreservedly apologise for this.” The formal transcripts from the Commission, on the same date, record the Oblates, stating under cross-examination: “We are sorry. We apologise for them.” On publication of the Commission’s Report our congregation issued a public statement on May 20th, 2009, which read in part: “We wish to reiterate the shortcomings on our part acknowledged to the Commission and the serious consequences for some of the boys in our care. We unreservedly apologise for these.”

I hope this clarifies the position of the Oblates for your readers. – Yours, etc,

Fr WILLIAM FITZPATRICK

OMI, Provincial,

Oblates of Mary Immaculate,

Tyrconnell Road,

Inchicore, Dublin 8.