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Findings of child protection reviews published

Four dioceses and three religious orders have been scrutinised as part of an all-island review.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

THE FINDINGS OF seven reviews into the child protection practices of a number of Ireland’s Catholic dioceses and religious orders have been published this morning with the safeguarding board finding poor practice in some bodies.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland published its findings from four dioceses and three religious orders as part of an all-island review of current child protection polices within the church.

The four dioceses are Cork and Ross, Limerick, Clonfert and Kildare and Leighlin. The three religious orders, which have been reviewed for the first time ever, are the Dominicans, the Spiritans and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

The NBSCCCI said it found “good practice and sound development” across the different Church authorities but also noted the need to learn from examples of poor practice.

“All allegations that were examined within the review process have been reported to the appropriate statutory authorities,” CEO of the board Ian Elliot said after the publication of the reports.

“Sadly, some of these had been very much delayed. However, where this was found, the congregations and dioceses involved are implementing fully any recommendations made through the review process and each is now in a stronger position in their safeguarding capacity and practice than was the case when the reviews were undertaken individually,” continued Elliot.

The seven bodies reviewed have committed to transparency and to change where needed. “In some, poor practice was found, yet publication of the reports has been undertaken by all,” the board said in a statement.

“A key emerging lesson from these reviews is the importance of objective, independent, standards based monitoring of practice,” said John Morgan, chairman of NBSCCCI.

It is not enough simply to have policies in place. You must also have ways to confirm full compliance with those policies. This is the benefit that the review process brings to practice in the Church.

TheJournal.ie will provide summaries of each individual report shortly.

The focus of the reports is not to provide a detailed analysis of what happened in the past but to scrutinise the child protection policies as they are today.

The first tranche of reviews were released last November with details of more than 160 allegations of abuse about 85 different priests. Although the board was critical of previous practices, it said there was improvement in most cases.

Audits are due to be carried out by 188 church authorities in ministry in Ireland. However, some of the authorities are small and membership skewed towards older people and not children. The NBSCCC hopes to finish the overall task in within two years.

Read TheJournal.ie’s coverage in full:

More: Child protection reviews reveal 378 abuse allegations about 146 individuals>

Related: Over 230 new abuse allegations received by Catholic Church>

November 2011: Dioceses reports criticise inadequate response to abuse allegations>

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