Priest stands aside in south Dublin parish pending investigation

Concerns brought to the diocese and reported to the gardaí, statement says

A parish priest in Dublin has voluntarily stood down from his duties due to child safeguarding concerns elsewhere a number of decades ago.

In a brief statement this afternoon the Dublin Archdiocese said that “in line with Church Policy on Safeguarding Children, a parish priest of Dublin has voluntarily stood aside from his position because of concerns brought to the diocese and reported to the gardaí. The information received relates to several decades ago and is not connected to the parish.”

It emphasised that “standing aside does not imply the truth or falsehood of what is being investigated. It allows an appropriate investigation by relevant Church and State authorities to take place.”

Anyone who, at any time, may have concerns or information regarding the safety of children should contact the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service of Dublin’s Catholic Archdiocese at 01- 8360314, their local Garda station, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.


As the matter is under investigation by Church and State authorities the Archdiocese has said it will not be confirming the identity of the priest or the parish where he has been serving.

It is understood the priest works in a parish in south Dublin.

Speaking last September on diocesan Safeguarding Day, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said “we have seen a welcome decline in the number of child abuse allegations coming to the attention of the diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service. “However a decline does not mean that such allegations have ceased, only that there are fewer of them. There are no grounds for complacency. It is important that we remain committed to this vital work.”

He said "as we prepare for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin next August, we should recall the words of Pope Francis: 'Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children. They should also know that they have every right to turn to the Church with full confidence, for it is a safe and secure home'."

Dublin now had “almost 400 parish safeguarding representatives who are working alongside clerical and lay colleagues to ensure that best safeguarding practice is followed in each of our 199 parishes,” he said, while in the previous year “nearly 1,200 people attended one day safeguarding training sessions and a further 1,500 attended information sessions.”

He had also "asked the diocesan Advisory Panel on Chid Protection, the diocesan Safeguarding Committee and the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service to extend their remit to include vulnerable adults. An interim policy on safeguarding vulnerable adults has been developed."

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times