The Shame of Ireland
12 June 2015
Image: priest imagepriest via Shutterstock
THE ARCHDIOCESE OF Dublin has revealed today that there has been an increase in the number of its priests accused of child abuse in the last year.
A meeting to discuss the Archdiocese’s child safeguarding and protection service is taking place in Dublin today as it emerges another five priests from the Diocese have been the subject of child sexual abuse allegations.
Three of the accused were deceased and the other two were retired. This brings the total number of priests accused since 1940 to 106. This includes confirmed, inconclusive and unfounded allegations, the Archdiocese said today.
The number of allegations of abuse have fallen in the past five years, from around 100 per year back in 2010 and 2011 to less than 40 in the last two years.
However there was an increase in the number of priests subject to complaints in the last year.
To date, 12 priests or former priests have been convicted in the criminal courts and 262 civil actions have been taken against 53 priests of former priests of the Diocese.
There are currently 60 ongoing cases, with more than 200 having been concluded.
The Archdiocese confirmed the costs of settlements regarding child sexual abuse by priests has reached €21.4 million, including legal costs for both sides.
Speaking today, Andrew Fagan, Director of Safeguarding Children for the Dublin Archdiocese, said the fall in the number of overall complaints in the last two years has allowed the service to do work of a more preventative nature, with more than 1,000 people participating in safeguarding training over the last 12 months.
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At the meeting this morning, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said in the past, Church leaders had “locked themselves into complacency”, stating it took years to put in place action they knew was necessary.
Though he said there have been “remarkable changes” in the Church, like Fagan, he said “there is no room for complacency.”
We need vigilance.
“Survivors are still coming forward which means that for years they have been suffering without feeling able to tell their story and share their grief,” he told the meeting today.
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