Order that runs Terenure College states 56 people have made allegations of child sexual abuse against it

Carmelites reiterate “unreserved” apology for historical cases of abuse

The Carmelites have confirmed that 56 individuals have made allegations of historical sex abuse against 21 members of the Order.

Most of the abuse is related to Terenure College and the former Carmelite College in Moate which closed in 1996. The rest is related to pastoral activities.

The order has confirmed that €1.6 million has been paid in settlements to 26 victims. This sum does not include victims’ therapeutic and legal costs which are paid separately.

This figure includes settlements paid to victims of a former lay teacher at Terenure College, who is serving a prison sentence for sexual abuse.


The statement by the Order does not name the lay teacher, but John McClean last year pleaded guilty to 27 counts of indecently assaulting 23 former pupils between 1973 and 1990. He was sentenced to eight years in jail.

Forty-one allegations of child sexual abuse have been reported against twelve Carmelites who worked in school settings dating back to the early 1960′s

The alleged perpetrators of the abuse are 12 deceased members of the Carmelites, six living members and three former members of the Order.

In its statement, the Carmelites said members of the Order who have had sexual abuse allegations made against them and are still alive are subject to a monitoring process within its safeguarding structures.

This information is also shared with An Garda Síochána and, with regard to children, Tusla, Child & Family Agency.

The Order reiterated an “unreserved apology” to those who were abused in its care. It had previously apologised last year after McClean was sentenced.

“We know that words of apology cannot suffice for the pain and suffering endured by victims and survivors of abuse, sexual, physical, and emotional, perpetrated by Carmelites,” the Order stated.

“We remain wholly committed to providing effective and meaningful support to those who were abused while in our care.

“We encourage anyone who has concerns regarding child safeguarding to contact the statutory authorities, An Garda Síochána and Tusla and if they wish, the Carmelite Safeguarding Office. They will have our full support.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times