Ruling on abuse report due next week

 

THE HIGH Court will give its final ruling next week on exactly how much may be published of the report of the investigation into the handling by Catholic Church and State authorities of child sex abuse allegations against clerics in the Dublin archdiocese.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan heard legal submissions in private yesterday related to an issue which was not raised before him when he directed earlier this month most of the report could be published.

It is believed the latest issue relates to concerns by the DPP about the possible implications of the judge’s direction for certain criminal proceedings. After hearing the submissions, the judge indicated he would deliver his decision on those next week. That decision is expected to clarify what parts of the report can be published with publication expected to follow shortly afterwards.

In his original ruling, the judge had directed all of the report could be published except for one chapter which refers to a particular individual plus 21 additional references in the body of the report to the same person.

He said the excluded material should not be published until the court decided otherwise but stressed it was not envisaged that it would never be published.

He made the exclusions on the basis that publication of the material in question might prejudice criminal proceedings.

However, last week, when it was expected most of the report would be published, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform went back before the judge because of concerns certain other material in the report may also affect criminal proceedings. The Minister brought his additional application following discussions between his officials, the DPP and the Attorney General’s office.

The report deals with the handling of abuse allegations against a sample of 46 priests between 1975 and 2004.