Decision on abuse report welcomed

The Minister for Justice today said he welcomed the fact the High Court has cleared the way for publication of a report into …

The Minister for Justice today said he welcomed the fact the High Court has cleared the way for publication of a report into the handling by the Church and State of child abuse claims in Dublin, subject to not publishing one chapter of the report and consequential references.

The High Court today ruled most of the report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation into the handling by the Catholic Church and State authorities of allegations of suspected child sex abuse by clerics may be published.

However, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan excluded from publication, at least until next May, one chapter of the report related to a particular cleric on grounds it may prejudice criminal proceedings against that cleric. He also directed that some 21 references to the same cleric in other parts of the report should also not be published for now.

In a statement, Dermot Ahern said he will now make arrangements for the early publication of the report in the light of the court order.

"I have always made it clear that I have been anxious to put the report into the public domain as quickly as possible while at the same time not wishing to do anything which would prejudice the chances of any of the people involved in these evil deeds being brought to justice. The High Court, at my request, has now resolved this matter in accordance with the relevant legislation."

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) also welcomed the court decision.

In a statement, RCNI director Fiona Neary said: "We welcome that as much as possible of the Dublin Archdiocese child abuse report can now be released. Many of the abuses documented in this report are relatively recent. Therefore, the information contained here is has implications for child protection today.

"The RCNI believe the Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform acted responsibly in referring this matter to the High Court in order to protect the ongoing prosecution of certain cases. We now call on the Minister to release as much as possible of this report without further delay."

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said the report should be published as soon as possible.

“We know that the publication of the report will trigger a lot of painful memories and feelings for victims of sexual abuse,” said chief executive Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop. “We are here to support them. Having learned from the experience of the Ryan Report publication, we are confident that the demands on our services will be met and that victims and their families will be responded to in a professional, confidential, caring and immediate manner.”

Mr Justice Gilligan adjourned to May 5th next year the issue of whether or not there should be publication then of those parts of the report excluded from publication now.