26/11/09 Child Protection Update

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Child Protection Update 26th November 2009


This statement is an update of the statistics published in November 2008. These statistics are compiled annually by the Archdiocese and is a record of the information available to the Archdiocese of Dublin.    

This update contains information on Dublin Diocesan priests, as well as information regarding priests from Religious Congregations and other Dioceses who at some time held an appointment in Dublin, or who carried out short-term supply ministry without a formal appointment from the Diocese, and against whom allegations or suspicions have arisen even where the allegation does not refer to their time in the Diocese.

Based on the information currently available to the Diocese the following statistics have been compiled regarding the period between 1940 and 2009.  During that period:

  • Allegations have been made against 84 priests of the Diocese.
  • Suspicions have been raised concerning 9 priests of the Diocese.

  • Allegations have been made against 60 Religious priests or priests from other Dioceses who held an appointment in Dublin.

  • Allegations have been made against 9 Religious priests or priests from other Dioceses, which related to their doing supply in Dublin.

  • Suspicions have been raised concerning 4 Religious priests who held appointments in the Diocese.
The diocese also possesses information regarding allegations of sexual abuse where, despite close liaison with the civil authorities, it has not been possible to identify the priest concerned.  These cases are kept under continual review.

It is the policy of the Archdiocese that all allegations and suspicions be reported to the civil authorities

10 Dublin priests, or former priests, have been convicted or have cases pending in the criminal courts (5 cases pending from the same group of 10). Two non-diocesan priests, who served in Dublin, have also been convicted in the criminal courts.

These statistics date over a period of 69 years. Since 1940 over 1,350 Diocesan priests have served in Dublin and around 1,450 priests from Religious Congregations have held appointments from the Archbishop of Dublin. In addition, the number of priests who may have done supply in Dublin in this period is unquantifiable but significant.

The statistics constitute a record of allegations made and suspicions raised irrespective of the eventual outcome. They include allegations which have been substantiated, and those which have not, and allegations which are false or mistaken. 
From the information currently available to the Diocese approximately 450 people have been identified who have either complained or are known or suspected to have suffered child sexual abuse by priests of the Diocese.   This is a conservative estimate and is expected to increase.  

To date 133 civil actions have been brought against 39 priests or priests who held appointments in the Dioceses. 99 have concluded and 34 are ongoing.

Settlement of claims is running at around €11 million (€7.6 m in settlements and €3.4 m in legal costs for both sides).

The Diocese has spent in the region of €6 million in Child Protection and related services.  Related services, includes significant costs incurred  reviewing Diocesan files, work  carried out on files and records to assist with the Commission of Inquiry into the Archdiocese of Dublin, counselling and support services for victims of abuse and treatment of priests who have offended. Legal costs for priests who have offended are paid to the point where they are formally charged.
The Child Protection Service in working with state agencies has to preserve trust in its processes of safeguarding children and assure victims of abuse, their families, and those accused of the confidential nature of its work. More detailed information regarding priests who have been accused; their status and living arrangements cannot be published by the Diocese. All information regarding allegations and suspicions of is given to the civil authorities. 

It is important to repeat that anyone with information regarding child sexual abuse by priests in Dublin makes contact with the Child Protection Service of the Diocese, the Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive or a counselling or support service of their choice.