But more needs to be done, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.
“But the work is not over. The sexual abuse of children continues in our society. Sexual predators will seek out our weak points and break through the weaknesses of our systems. We cannot afford to let our guard down,” he said.
Speaking at All Hallows College in Dublin last night he continued “if there is one area where I know we need to do more, it is that of reaching out to survivors, beyond the great work of Towards Healing, to create an open door and a safe space for those survivors who have still fear telling their story and who still live alone with their anguish.”
He said the past 10 years had seen a real change of culture where safeguarding children in Dublin was concerned.
“But Dublin is not an isolated diocese. That cultural change is repeated right across the country in the work of Diocesan Child Safeguarding Offices and in the vital work of the National Board for Safeguarding Children,” he said.
The archbishop was speaking at a ceremony where he had been awarded the 2013 Vincentian Charism Award as “his direction and leadership of this seismic crisis within the Catholic Church in Ireland has given confidence to Catholics and others and enabled the church to envisage and create a new future in Ireland.”
Previous recipients of the Award included Dr Martin McAleese for his work on the Magdalene laundries.
Archbishop Martin said that, while he was very honoured to receive the award, he was “wary of awards” as “at times they end up putting too much attention on the ‘awardee’ and not enough attention on the good things that have been achieved.”