Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Report on allegations of assault by priests is delayed

A REPORT into sex abuse in the Diocese of Raphoe has been delayed after the man carrying out the investigation asked for more information from church authorities.

The church-run National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) has spent months carrying out a review of all allegations made against priests in Co Donegal.

The long-awaited report was due to be published by NBSCCC chief executive Ian Elliott at the beginning of September.

But now it is understood the audit will not be made public until October at the earliest.

It is understood Mr Elliott has contacted the church in Donegal seeking further information on certain matters, which has now caused the delay.

However, a spokesman for the board said it could not comment on any aspect of the report until it was published.

When the report is complete it will be forwarded to the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, who will decide when to make it public.

The communications director with the Raphoe diocese, Fr Paddy Dunne, said he understood it would be "some time" before the report was released to Bishop Boyce.


Raphoe is the sixth of Ireland's 26 dioceses to have an audit into alleged sex abuse by priests carried out.

It contained some of the country's most notorious paedophile priests including Fr Eugene Greene.

Fr Greene was jailed for 12 years in 2000 for the rape and sexual assault of 26 boys but was released in 2008.

Six priests from the Raphoe diocese have so far been brought to justice for their crimes.

The board, which was formed in 2006, was tasked with uncovering the full extent of all complaints or allegations, know- ledge, suspicions or concerns of child sexual abuse, made to the Raphoe diocese by individuals or by the civil authorities in the period of January 1, 1975, to the present day against Catholic clergy.

Its objective will be "to confirm how known allegations have been responded to and what the current arrangements for safeguarding children are" in the diocese.

It is not believed the Raphoe report will feature priests involved in abuse before 1975.

A recent report that claimed "hundreds and hundreds" of victims were abused by up to 20 priests in the diocese was dismissed by Bishop Boyce who said it was simply not true.