Catholic Church child protection board rejects criticisms of audit by Ian Elliott
However, former chief executive ‘stands resolutely’ by what he said
Ian Elliott: it was untrue of the board to say he had not responded to its correspondence. “We have been in communication through our respective lawyers.” Photograph Brenda Fitzsimons
The Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, its National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), has said it “categorically refutes” challenges by former chief executive Ian Elliott to its audit of Down and Connor diocese.
The audit was led by Mr Elliott over four days in Down and Connor last May. Earlier this month Mr Elliott said that, as published last December, the audit findings “do not reflect the findings from the fieldwork”.
He said that, such were his concerns at what he found last May that, after the first two days there, he met Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor and NBSC chairman John Morgan. “I made them directly aware of the findings,” he said. “I am deeply concerned at attempts by the diocese to attribute that review [audit] to me.” Published on December 10th last, the audit found that the diocese had produced an “excellent result”.
In a statement on its website the NBSC says it “categorically refutes any suggestion that its final report into the diocese of Down & Connor published in December 2013 omitted relevant matters from the audit process as per statements attributed to Mr Ian Elliot. ”
It says that before his retirement last June, Mr Elliott “prepared a first draft report which reflected very positively on the diocese of Down and Connor. While preserving its tone, there was a need to augment it with work which had to be undertaken after Mr Elliott’s retirement and to stress test the contents in order to complete the review in line with the methodology established by the board.”
Last night Mr Elliott told The Irish Times that he “stands resolutely by the comments [he] made” and that it was untrue of the board to say he had not responded to its correspondence. “We have been in communication through our respective lawyers.”