Child Safeguarding Update

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 Child Safeguarding Update 2016


The head of the child safeguarding and protection service in the Archdiocese of Dublin has said they have seen another decline in the number of complaints and allegations of abuse being processed by their service this year.

There were four new allegations of child sexual abuse involving priests of the Archdiocese in 2016.  Three of these priests were deceased and the other was retired.

Diocesan Director of Safeguarding, Mr. Andrew Fagan said “We deal with complaints about a wide range of people apart from diocesan priests and there has been a notable decrease in the number of such cases coming to our attention since 2010. This proved true in 2016 also.”

The Archdiocese continues to process civil legal actions from people who were abused by priests as children. It has spent over €22 million euro in settling claims and in associated legal costs.

As a result of the ongoing decline in the number of complaints received, the SCPS service has been able to give more time and attention to the work in parishes to ensure the creation and maintenance of safe environments for children.

This is reflected in the doubling of the numbers attending training and information sessions.  Work by the Diocesan Safeguarding office in this area has become more proactive and they are working to a strategic plan, worked out by the diocesan Safeguarding Committee, which is designed to ensure that diocesan safeguarding policy is understood and implemented across all of the 199 parishes in the diocese.

Andrew Fagan said that while the increased focus on training was to be welcomed, it was vital that no-one became complacent around the issue of child abuse, whether working directly in the Child Safeguarding Service or in a volunteer capacity in parishes. He said the Diocesan service was still very much alert to the need to help and support anyone who has suffered from child abuse and anyone who has concerns about child abuse.


  • Over 2000 participated in one-day safeguarding training sessions (953) and information sessions (1,161) in 2016.  This is more than double the figure for the previous 12 months.
  • 8,500 people were Garda vetted through the Archdiocese, an increase of 1,500 on the previous year.  This brings to nearly 54,000 the total number of people that have been vetted through the Archdiocese.
  •  There were four new allegations of child sexual abuse involving priests of the Archdiocese.  Three of these priests were deceased and the other was retired.  This brings to 110 the total number of priests against whom allegations have been made since 1940.
  • 12 priests or former priests have been convicted in the criminal courts (no change in 2016)
  • 277 civil actions have been taken against 54 priests or former priests of the Diocese. 215 cases have concluded and 57 are on-going.


The costs, to date, to the Archdiocese of settlement of claims regarding child sexual abuse by priests is currently €22.4 million (€15.2 million in settlements and €7.2 million in legal costs for both sides)


If you want to discuss a child protection concern contact:

Mr Andrew Fagan (Director and Designated Person)


Tel: 01 836 0314 (+ 353 1 836 0314 outside Ireland)
Email: Mr Andrew Fagan

or contact the Child Protection Officer:

Tel:  01 836 0314 (+ 353 1 836 0314 outside Ireland)
Email: Ms Julie McCullough

For General Information contact:
Ms. Aileen Byrne, Administration
Ms. Geraldine Tierney, Administration

For more information on Garda Vetting contact:

Ms. Vivienne Knight, Garda Vetting Administrator


Tel: 01 836 0314 (+ 353 1 836 0314 outside Ireland)
Fax: 01 884 2599 (+ 353 1 884 2599 outside Ireland)
Email: Administration

For Priest Delegate contact:
Fr. Richard Shannon, Priest Delegate

Tel: 01 836 0314 (+ 353 1 836 0314 outside Ireland)

For Training and Development Services contact:
Mr. Garry Kehoe, Training and Development Coordinator

Tel: 01 8360314 (+ 353 1 8360314 outside Ireland)
 Mobile: 086 084 1734 (+ 353 86 084 1734 outside Ireland)
Email: Mr Garry Kehoe


Or you can write to us at

Child Safeguarding and Protection Service
Holy Cross Diocesan Centre
Clonliffe College
Dublin 3