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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Child protection review recommends Cloyne Diocese set up whistle blowing policy

The Diocese was told an overarching child safeguarding plan should be drawn up and published.

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THE NATIONAL BOARD for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) have today published the fifth tranche of reviews on child safeguarding in a number of dioceses.

The review covers the Arch Diocese of Dublin, the Diocese of Meath, Cloyne and Killaloe. It also reviews the religious congregations of the Presentation Brothers, the Patrician Brothers, Benedictine, Glenstal and the Missionary Societies of the Columban Missionaries and the Society of Divine Word.

The child protection watchdog recommends that the Cloyne Diocese include in the Safeguarding Children and  Vulnerable Persons in the Diocese of Cloyne 2013 procedures where a member of the Church can use to express concern about a child.

Reporting 

They suggested a number of reporting options be included which could be utilised by an individual  who is considering making a report, regardless of who their concern is about

Interviews with representatives from the gardaí and the HSE also took place as part of the review with the report stating:

“An Garda Síochána and the HSE were confident that reporting could now take place in a prompt and transparent manner and the diocese had a greater understanding of the role each agency played in the protection of children.”

The report said that the Diocese of Cloyne now needs to utilise the detailed information it has available to it from the many audits that have taken place to generate an overarching child safeguarding plan for the diocese.

Safeguarding children

“While it is clear that all safeguarding personnel are focused and committed and that targets are being set for their work, this needs to be guided by a well considered and costed written child safeguarding plan,” stated the report.

The plan needs to be agreed, signed off by Bishop William Crean and published by the diocese, said the reviewers and because this has not been done to date this criteria has only been met partially rather than fully, stated the report.

Contained within the report is a table outlining the incidence of safeguarding received within the diocese from 1 January 1975. It is as follows:

cloyne Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Diocese of Cloyne

The watchdog also recommended that the Bishop Crean should ensure that an appropriate and deliberate response to victims is established, including recruiting and training at least two lay people, a woman and a man, to act in a victim support role.

It was also recommended that Bishop Crean should request the CDSCC to consider and put in place practical and emotional support for the current and future victim support persons.

Betrayal of trust

In a statement today, Bishop of Cloyne William Crean said he welcomed the publication, adding:

“Again extend my heartfelt apologies to all those who suffered abuse at the hands of a minority of priests of Cloyne. Their actions were not only reprehensible but a total betrayal of trust given to people who should have been their protectors and not their abusers.”

He said the diocese has “come a long way but that work goes on to ensure best practice in safeguarding every child in Cloyne”.

He said that while the overall report is “complimentary” of their efforts, he said it is a “work in progress”.

While the report is generally very complimentary of our efforts, safeguarding children is still a work in progress, saying:

On my Ordination Day some 15 months ago I committed myself to do all that I can, with others in the diocese, to continue to bring healing and new hope to the lives of all victims of abuse and their families. Today I re-iterate that commitment. I can promise them, as well as all parents and children in Cloyne, that we will never relent in our efforts to prevent such abuse happening again.

Survivor groups One in Four and Towards Healing have welcomed today’s publications, with One in Four stating that previously the Dublin and Cloyne dioceses were strongly criticised by the Murphy commission for their handling of clerical abuse allegations in the past, but that today’s reports “bring some reassurance to survivors of clerical abuse that real progress has been made in putting in place child protection measures”.

Towards Healing Telephone Helpline have extended opening hours are: 8pm to 1am both today and tomorrow and can be contacted on Freephone 1800 303416 (Rep. of Ireland) Freephone 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland and UK)

 Read: Dublin Archdiocese commended for ‘exemplar’ child abuse allegation reporting system>

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