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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Spike in calls to counselling services after Cardinal Brady programme

Connect Counselling can be contacted free-of-charge on 1800 477 477.

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AN OUT-OF-HOURS counselling service for victims of child abuse has said it noticed a significant increase in calls to its telephone line last night.

A spokesperson for Connect Counselling told that it expects the trend to continue over the coming days following revelations about Cardinal Seán Brady’s role in a secret 1975 inquiry into the abuse of children by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

“We had a noticeable spike in calls,” he said. “That is generally the pattern when the issue of clerical child abuse is raised in the media.”

Connect is a HSE-funded, out-of-hours counselling service for any adult who experienced abuse, trauma or neglect in childhood. The service is also available to partners or relatives of people with these experiences.

It was established in 2006 on the request of survivor groups which saw the need for a free out-of-hours helpline.

The service said it is available to provide free telephone-based counselling and support to anyone distressed by the current focus on child abuse following the BBC This World programme on Cardinal Brady and Smyth.

Anybody affected or distressed by the current focus on child abuse can contact Connect Counselling for free on 1800 477 477 (and from Northern Ireland 00800 477 477 77). Opening hours are from 6 to 10pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Abuse survivor: Without courage or integrity Cardinal Brady failed and it is unforgivable>

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