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Press Release on publication of 20 Safeguarding Review Reports – 2 December 2015

(Wednesday December 2nd 2015)

20 Reports Completed by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church and Published. Penultimate Tranche Shows Progress Continuing

With only one further tranche of reviews to be completed and published it is clear that Safeguarding practice within the Church has improved and this set of 20 reviews reinforces that.

Full reviews were carried out on, The Legionaries of Christ, The Oblates of Mary Immaculate and The Mercy Sisters as all three continue to have substantial public ministry with children. The other 17 orders and congregations had a more limited review carried out as they have little or no contact with children and no allegations of sexual abuse levelled against them.  All 20 reviews showed good safeguarding practice, prompt reporting of allegations to the civil authorities and to managing risk.

“What we are seeing here are a series of good habits having been created,” said Teresa Devlin, CEO, NBSCCCI (National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland). “Reporting to the civil authorities is prompt, case files are recorded correctly and risk is properly assessed. But what is most heartening here is that child safeguarding is an engrained component of the religious life and child related activities of these Orders and Congregations. It has become a reflex and their first consideration. ”

In carrying out the full reviews of the three orders it was found that 53 allegations had been made against 44 priests, brothers or sisters between 1941 and 2009. None of them had resulted in a conviction.  The 3 Orders have good liaison with the civil authority agencies who regularly advise on the management of risk and significant improvements in reporting allegations to the civil authority agencies have been noted, with no outstanding cases requiring reporting action by the Orders/Congregations.

The 17 smaller reviews included a large number of female Congregations, who are increasing in age profile, but declining in numbers along with one male order with no allegations and limited ministry with children. Among the female orders there was one allegation of emotional abuse, which has been appropriately dealt with. And those members of the orders and congregations who minister outside these congregation follow the policy and procedures of the diocese or service in which they work.

“Even with these orders and congregations, despite the reduced relevance of their ministries from a child safeguarding perspective, there is a strong sense of commitment to working positively with the National Board,” said Devin.

ENDS

For further information please contact:                 Ger Kenny 087 2488393

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