A REPORT on child safety at the hands of prominent religious
orders in Ireland and abroad, prepared by the RC National Board for
the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, and
involving four dioceses and three religious congregations, has led
to new disclosures of failure to report abuse to the Garda
The chief executive of the board, Ian Elliott, a Presbyterian,
said that the results were "disappointing".
The Bishop of one diocese found to be lacking (Clonfert), Dr
John Kirby, who moved two offending priests to other parishes, said
that, 20 years ago, he did not know how paedophiles operated.
Although he was now aware that his response had been "grossly
inadequate", he has not considered resigning.
A review of one order that operates fee-paying schools, the
Spiritans (formerly Holy Ghost Fathers), showed that priests who
were serial abusers were given "unmonitored access to children from
the 1960s to the 1980s". A spokesman for the order apologised, and
pledged to implement the review's recommendations in full.
In the case of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC), the
review found their child-protection policies "deeply flawed", and
accused the order's leaders of maintaining a culture of secrecy.
The Provincial, Fr Joseph McGee, issued an unreserved apology.
Also highlighted in the report was the male Dominican Order.
Other dioceses have been praised for swiftly implementing
"robust" policies, including Limerick and its former Bishop, the Rt
Revd Donal Murray, although he had to resign in 2009 over decisions
made when he was a Dublin auxiliary bishop.