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Jesuit Order announces redress scheme for victims of child sex abuser Joseph Marmion

Marmion abused dozens of pupils in Belvedere, Clongowes and Crescent College 40 years ago.

Belvedere College in Dublin.
Belvedere College in Dublin.

A COMPENSATION SCHEME for men sexually assaulted as boys by child sex predator Fr Joseph Marmion, has been made public by the Jesuit religious order.

Marmion, who died in 2000 aged 75, is believed to have sexually assaulted dozens of boys whom he taught at Belvedere College, Dublin; Crescent College, Limerick; as well as at Clongowes Wood College, Kildare.

The redress scheme by the three Jesuit Colleges in Ireland has been welcomed by a steering committee representing the men and offers €75,000 plus, depending on severity of the abuse.

“The Irish Jesuit Order has made public a redress scheme for survivors of sexual abuse by Joseph Marmion. The scheme has been recommended by the Steering Group which represents survivors,” read a fresh statement from the Jesuits.

The religious order’s Irish Provincial, Fr Leonard Moloney SJ said: “Once again I want to apologise to all those who suffered in any way at the hands of Joseph Marmion.”

Fr Moloney said his “words” alone would “never (be) enough”, but he added that “it is my sincere hope that this scheme will go some way towards assuring victims of our commitment to continue responding in whatever ways possible to the wishes and concerns of survivors”.

“I hope also that in its construction it will cause the least possible trauma to victim/survivors of Joseph Marmion, who have already suffered enough,” Fr Moloney added.

The Jesuits said the scheme was “one strand in a number of processes that have taken place since the Order first named Joseph Marmion on 2 March 2021, as a Jesuit who abused pupils in Belvedere, Clongowes and Crescent College Limerick forty years ago”.

“In the wake of the response to the statement from survivor/victims of Marmion, the Jesuits engaged two independent Restorative Facilitators, who have been working with survivors and Jesuits in a number of ways to address the concerns and requests of the people who were abused and harmed by Marmion,” it said.

“Working with the facilitators, former pupils who had been abused identified that they wished to have as complete an understanding as possible of Fr Marmion’s behaviour and how much the Jesuits were aware of and responded to it,” it continued.

In an unusual move, on 2 March last year, the Jesuits publicly identified Marmion as having “abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically while he was on the teaching staff at Belvedere College in the 1970s”.

It said it had issued this statement “following engagement with a former pupil who was himself abused, in the hope that others who may have suffered would come forward and get the support they may need”.

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“The Jesuits were contacted by this former pupil of Belvedere College in early 2019. He was a student at Belvedere in the 1970s. In that time, he was sexually and emotionally abused by Joseph Marmion, and the abuse took place when he was a 13-year-old boy,” it added.

In July 2021, the Jesuits completed a “response document in an attempt to provide those details”.

In his fresh statement, Fr Moloney expressed his “gratitude to those survivors who have been in contact since the naming of Marmion”, as well as those “who have engaged so generously in developing the subsequent processes outlined above”.

Fr Moloney also renewed his call to survivors of abuse to contact the Order’s Child Safeguarding Office, the Restorative Facilitators, and the relevant authorities.

To contact Saoirse Fox, Child Safeguarding Officer at the Irish Jesuit Province, email: safeguarding@jesuit.ie; Barbara Walshe, Restorative Facilitator, email: barbarawalshe@live.com; and Catherine O’Connell, Restorative Facilitator, email: Catherine.OConnell@mu.ie.

About the author:

David Raleigh

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