Child sexual abuse complaints against 44 Jesuit priests were received by the congregation between 1945 and late last year, a newly published report has disclosed.
Of the 44 priests, 22 had one complaint made against them and 22 had more than one complaint made against them. All relevant information regarding these complaints has been reported to the gardaí and Tusla.
All the incidents were said to have occurred between 1940 and 2004, with 93 per cent of the complaints received between 1991 and 2023, and related to abuse perpetrated in school and non-school settings.
The findings are contained in a report published by the Society of Jesus and mainly related to three Jesuit schools, Belvedere College in Dublin, Crescent College in Limerick and Clongowes Wood College in Kildare.
Some 93 complaints of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse received were against Fr Joseph Marmion, who died in 2000, during his period at the three schools between 1951 and 1978. Of these, 70 per cent while he was at Belvedere College.
Excluding Fr Marmion, there were 34 complaints of sexual abuse received against 19 other Jesuits at the three schools. Complaints against them were received by the Jesuits Society between 1965 and 2023 and were reported to have occurred between 1940 and 1991.
Nineteen separate complaints of sexual abuse, reported to have occurred at Belvedere College between the 1940s and 1990s, were received against seven Jesuits, excluding Fr Marmion. These complaints were received by the congregation between the 1990s and 2023.
Nine separate complaints of sexual abuse which were reported to have occurred at Clongowes Wood College between the 1950s and 1980s were made against eight Jesuits. These complaints were received by the Jesuits between the 1970s and 2023.
Six separate complaints of sexual abuse against four priests were reported to have occurred at Crescent College Limerick between the 1950s and 1990s. These complaints were received between 1965 and 2023.
Sexual abuse complaints were also received by the Jesuits against both late directors of St Declan’s Special School for children in Dublin, Fr Paul Andrews SJ and Fr Dermot Casey SJ.
Fr Andrews was subject a child sexual abuse complaint in 1991, which was repeated in 1994. He was also person to whom the first abuse complaints were made against Fr Marmion in September 1977 and had been director at St Declan’s Special School from 1977 until the end of 1994.
His predecessor in that role was Fr Dermot Casey, who had been in the role from 1958 to 1977. Fr Casey was the subject of 17 complaints of child sexual abuse which were received between 1975 and 2023, relating to incidents from the 1950s through to 1977.
The report published on Thursday was compiled on behalf of the Joint Past Pupils - Jesuit Steering Group. It was made up of past pupils and of the Jesuit Order. A key objective of their work was to have the experiences of past pupils who were abused by Fr Marmion “heard, acknowledged and validated”.
The Irish Jesuit Provincial Shane Daly SJ expressed his gratitude to the Past Pupils Steering Committee for making this possible.
“As Jesuits we are ashamed of our own failures – failure to allow the truth to be told, failure to admit to the wrong that had occurred, and failure to create earlier opportunities for you to receive the vindication you sought, deserved and needed, as a result of your experiences of Fr Marmion SJ. I apologise for our delay in creating a context in which you could receive the acknowledgement that was justly yours, and the care to which we, as a Christian community aspire in our lives and mission.,” Fr Daly said.
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