Catholic Bishops announce new Child Protection initiatives
13 June 2001
Appointment of Lay Director of New Child Protection Office
At their three-day Summer Meeting in Maynooth this week, the Irish Bishops’ Conference announced the establishment of a new Child Protection Office. The Director of the Office will be Mr Paul Bailey, a native of Dublin, who has been working as Dublin Regional Administrator of the Society of St Vincent De Paul. Mr Bailey was the President of the Irish Association of Care Workers from 1998 to 2001 and his former appointments include General Manager/Director of the Los Angeles Society for Homeless Boys and Deputy Director of Oberstown Boys Centre, Lusk, Co Dublin. He was also a Social Care Worker with Oberstown Girls Centre, Lusk and Trinity House School, Lusk. Mr Bailey will take up his appointment in July. The Child Protection Office will liase with Church, voluntary and statutory bodies concerned with child protection issues in Ireland and abroad, and provide a back- up service and support to the Bishops’ Committee on Child Protection.
Bishops’ Committee on Child Protection
The Conference also announced the establishment of the Bishops’ Committee on Child Protection. This is essentially a re-structuring and amalgamation of the Bishops Advisory Committee on Child Abuse established in 1994, and the Bishops’ Committee on Child Abuse established in 1999. The new Committee will be chaired by Bishop Eamonn Walsh. The Conference has mandated the Committee to commission (in co-operation with the Conference of Religious of Ireland – CORI) a review of the Report Child Sexual Abuse: Framework for a Church Response which was published in January 1996.
Research Project on Child Sexual Abuse
The Health Services Research Centre, Department of Psychology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, has been commissioned to conduct a research study on child sexual abuse. The overall aim of the study is to examine the broad impact of child sexual abuse by clergy and religious within an Irish context. Consultations will be sought with key informants ranging from those personally affected by child sexual abuse, through families and colleagues of the abused and abusers, to representatives of the clergy and the church laity more generally. The psychological effects of clerical and religious child sexual abuse will be studied together with the impact on faith and religious practice. The research in expected to result in a report to be published in early 2003.
Fr Martin Clarke 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm 087 233 7797