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Sunday 1 October 2023 Dublin: 17°C
# Allegations
Four new complaints made to Gardaí over alleged Spiritans abuse this week
The leader of the Spiritans in Ireland has apologised to ‘those who have been grievously hurt’.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 12th 2022, 6:00 PM

FOUR PEOPLE HAVE lodged complaints with the Gardaí this week in relation to abuse allegations in Spiritan schools.

It follows an RTÉ Documentary on One programme which broadcast allegations of abuse relating to the Spiritans.

Gardaí have urged individuals who may have been the victim of any abuse to contact them.

In a statement to The Journal, the Garda Press Office said: “The Sexual Crime Management Unit at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau is the central point of contact for referrals on an ongoing basis from Religious Orders throughout the country via Designated Liaison Persons.

“An Garda Síochána can confirm that referrals in respect of abuse allegations relating to Spiritan Schools and the Spiritan Order have been previously received through this system.

“An Garda Síochána can also confirm that complaints made by individual victims have also previously been received and investigated where appropriate.

This week, the Sexual Crime Management Unit, GNPSB, has received four contacts. Further engagement will take place with these four persons to assess their individual case and they will be fully supported.

The statement added that any matters reported will be dealt with sensitively.

Gardaí had previously received complaints relating to alleged abuse in Spiritan schools.

“An Garda Síochána is acutely aware of the profound and enduring impact sexual, physical and emotional abuse has on victims.”

Where possible, complaints will be progressed through an investigation.

“While it is our intention to effectively deal with all complaints and information received, there will be limitations as to the action we can take in some cases due to matters such as the loss of evidence over time or suspects and/or witnesses being deceased.”


The leader of the Spiritans in Ireland, Father Martin Kelly, has apologised to “those who have been so grievously hurt” and sought to “assure victims/survivors that our congregation is doing all in its power to help those who have been harmed”.

He added that Spiritan schools have “robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place for the protection of their current and future pupils”.

Kelly also said the Spiritans have been working on a “new, additional method of reaching out to victims/survivors which we plan to launch together in the near future”.