THE PUBLICATION OF the complete Cloyne Report should go ahead on Monday. The High Court ruled yesterday that a section of the report, in Chapter 9, which couldn’t be published up to this time because of ongoing legal action can now be published in full.
However, the Department of Justice has confirmed that a stay was put on the publication until Monday – to allow the Government to put support and counselling services in place for those affected.
The activities of a cleric referred to as ‘Fr Ronat’, who has never been convicted of child sexual abuse but was referred to as far back as the 2008 National Board for Safeguarding Children report.
The Cloyne Report in its current published form also has reference to ‘Fr Ronat’. While the first four sections of the chapter are currently missing, it does detail complaints made against him from 1989 onwards:
- It describes the very first complaint made by a female and her mother to a priest senior to ‘Fr Ronat’ in his parish. That priest said he told the parish priest but nothing appears to have been done about the complaint and there were no written records kept of the meeting.
- Bishop John Magee of Cloyne, who has since resigned his post, was told of this same complaint in 1995 and the alleged victim said that he told her that he believed her and that he was sorry – however, he did not keep contemporaneous notes of the meeting.
- Monsignor Denis O’Callaghan was supposed to carry out an investigation on behalf of the diocese into the complaints but this was described by the Cloyne Report as “not an impartial recording of the facts” and that it did not “show any evidence of a genuine investigation”. It took six months from the time of the 1995 complaint for the Msgr O’Callaghan to interview ‘Fr Ronat’.
- An advisory committee set up by the Cloyne diocese on this case met twice without the presence of a consultant psychologist who had assessed ‘Fr Ronat’ and his alleged victim. The committee decided that counselling should be made available to ‘Fr Ronat’ and the alleged victim – but “without prejudice”.
- The Cloyne Report concluded that the diocesan committee “was more concerned about causing scandal than about protecting children”.
The extensive report on the management of ‘Fr Ronan’ and the complaints against him can be read here. On Monday, the missing pieces shall be filled in.