Archbishop Clifford appoints Bill Meagher as new safeguarding children Designated Officer for the Diocese of Cloyne
Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cloyne, today announced Mr Bill Meagher as the new safeguarding children Designated Officer for the Diocese of Cloyne.
Archbishop Clifford said “The Diocese of Cloyne upholds the dignity and rights of all children and young people and is committed to ensuring their safety and well being within the Church environment. To support this objective I am pleased to announce the appointment today of Mr Bill Meagher as the new safeguarding children Designated Officer for the Diocese of Cloyne. Bill will take up this role tomorrow Monday, 31 January 2011.
“This is a key child protection appointment for the diocese. It is the Designated Officer’s responsibility to receive information where is it alleged or suspected that a child has been or is being abused by a Church representative, whether lay or clerical. On receipt of such an allegation/concern/disclosure, it is his responsibility to refer it to the statutory authorities. He is also responsible for any subsequent internal investigation.
“In addition to providing assistance to survivors of abuse and in managing allegations, Bill’s professional experience and expertise will be an essential resource to the existing 98 trained parish representatives who are in place in parishes throughout the diocese. These volunteers act as an early warning system for the safeguarding services alerting the Designated Officer to any concerns identified at parish level.”
Archbishop Clifford continued “The presence of voluntary parish representatives is vital in maintaining public confidence in the Church’s commitment to safeguard children. I thank them wholeheartedly for giving their time to this essential pastoral activity.
“As Apostolic Administrator I have worked closely with the two previous designated officers, Father Bill Bermingham and Father John McCarthy. I take this opportunity to acknowledge their commitment and dedicated service in that role.”
Archbishop Clifford concluded “Our Child Protection Diocesan Policy Statement is available on www.cloynediocese.ie. Anyone with a child protection concern, or wishes to report an allegation, can do so by contacting a parish volunteer or the diocesan Designated Officer and/or An Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive. These contact details are available on our diocesan policy statement.”
Notes for Editors
Bill Meagher has an MA in Social Work from the University of Liverpool. For the past fourteen years Bill has worked in the area of child protection in Ireland. Bill was initially employed as a Social Worker then Senior Social Worker over a four year period with the Midland Health Board. In 2000 he was appointed Child Care Manager with the Mid-Western Health Board (now HSE West), a position he held until December 2010. During the period 2006-2009 Bill was a member of the HSE Interim National Management Team for Secure Care for children.
The Diocese of Cloyne in County Cork has 46 parishes and a Catholic population of over 165,000.