Child protection reviews to be published today

Completes reviews of all dioceses, includes Dublin and Cloyne

The fifth tranche of reviews by the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog will be published today.

Their publication will complete the first round of reviews, which involve all 26 Catholic dioceses on the island of Ireland.

Conducted by the church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children, the reviews published today will include those for the four remaining dioceses to be audited: the archdiocese of Dublin and the Cloyne, Meath and Killaloe dioceses.

Dublin and Cloyne were investigated by the Murphy commission on their handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations. Its report on Dublin was published in November 2009 and on Cloyne in July 2011.

Today’s reviews will also include audits of child protection measures in four religious/mis- sionary congregations.

Handling of allegations
Each tranche of reports from the board to date has addressed current practice in the institutions investigated, as well as their handling of all allegations received since January 1975.

Presenting the board’s annual report on May 1st, its chief executive, Teresa Devlin, said it had undertaken 18 such reviews in the year to the end of March and, overall, had done so where the 26 dioceses and 10 religious congregations/mission- ary societies were concerned.

In the coming year it hoped to complete reviews of 40 to 50 of the smaller congregations, she said. Altogether, taking into consideration dioceses, religious congregations and missionary societies, there are 162 independent Catholic institutions in Ireland, and each has to be reviewed by the board.

The great majority yet to be reviewed are small in terms of membership and, particularly where congregations and missionary societies are concerned, they comprise people whose average age is 73 to 74.