Statement from Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore on the publication of the Cloyne Report
I welcome the publication of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into the handling by Church and State authorities of allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse against a number of clerics in the Diocese of Cloyne.
My first thoughts are for those who have been abused. I feel great disappointment and dismay that the authorities whose responsibility it was to implement nationally agreed procedures failed to do so and left children at risk. Their failure has compounded the suffering of those who have been abused and their families.
The publication of this report is a reminder of how necessary it is for bishops and for those in positions of responsibility to be continually vigilant and pro-active in ensuring that the Safeguarding Children procedures are fully and consistently implemented in dioceses. The guidelines and standards are about ensuring that our Church is a safe place for children.
It is particularly heartening that it was the work of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church that drew public attention to practices that were of concern. Hopefully this will go a long way to building confidence that the Catholic Church takes the safety of children as a paramount concern.
Finally, I repeat the appeal I have made before, that anyone with information regarding child sexual abuse by priests in Kilmore diocese make contact with one of our Designated Persons, the Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive or a support service of their choice. If they wish to access counselling they may contact the free, confidential helpline of the independent counselling service, Towards Healing. Contact details of the Diocesan Designated Persons and of Towards Healing are on Church notice boards and on the diocesan website: www.kilmorediocese.ie
Catholic Communications Office Maynooth:Martin Long00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444