Statement by Bishop Leo O’Reilly on the publication of the Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Diocese of Kilmore

30 Nov 2011

Statement by Bishop Leo O’Reilly on the publication of the Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Diocese of Kilmore 

I welcome the publication of the Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Diocese of Kilmore. In June 2010 I invited the National Board to undertake this Review and I committed myself to publishing its findings.

The review was carried out in November 2010 by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. It reports on the work undertaken in the diocese to make it a safer place for children.  It also reviews the management of allegations against priests in the diocese and provides a statistical summary of these.

The statistical data in the Review cover a period of seven decades, from the 1940s until 2010. During that period there were allegations of abuse against seven priests of the diocese of Kilmore. One priest was convicted in the courts of abuse of a minor and is currently serving a sentence.

Each allegation represents a person who has suffered and my thoughts today are very much with survivors of abuse. I am aware that the publication of this and other Reviews of Child Safeguarding today may reopen painful wounds of those who have suffered abuse at the hands of priests. I once again apologise to them and express my anger and deep sadness that they experienced this betrayal by those who should have brought them Christ’s love and compassion

The review observes “that cumulative learning and experience have helped to develop practice and decision making in the diocese”.   I hope the review will give some measure of reassurance to victims, their families and to all parents and families, that the diocese has high standards of safeguarding and is open to continued enhancement of current and future practice and so contribute to making it a safe place for children.

The review commends “the enthusiasm and commitment of staff and volunteers”.  I join with that commendation and thank them for their generosity. I wish to thank also our dedicated priests and all others who have worked so diligently to improve and maintain high standards in our continuing commitment to safeguarding children. I want to express also our appreciation for the advice and support of the Garda Síochána and the HSE locally, particularly in relation to the management of allegations.

Those who wish to access support or counseling may avail of the Towards Healing service:

Towards Healing is the free and confidential helpline and counseling referral service which has replaced Faoiseamh.

Towards Healing is providing an extended service from today as follows:

  • From 11.00 am to 11.00 pm on 30th November, 1st and 2nd December and
  • From 11.00 am to 8.00 pm on 3rd and 4th December.

The helpline can be contacted by calling:

Freephone 1800-303416 from anywhere in Ireland

And on 0800-0963315  from Northern Ireland and the UK.

As the safety of children is of paramount importance I encourage anyone with a specific concern to contact the statutory authorities. They may also contact the Diocesan Designated Person, Suzie Duffy, at 049 4375004.

Further details are on our website:

Leo O’Reilly

Bishop of Kilmore


Information for Editors:

  • The Diocese of Kilmore comprises 36 parishes mainly in Counties Cavan and Leitrim. There are also parishes in Counties Fermanagh, Meath and Sligo.
  • The Catholic population is 62,438
  • The diocese has 69 priests in active ministry, diocesan and non-diocesan
  • This includes 4 priests who work outside the diocese.
  • Total Priests in the Diocese: 84

For media queries, requests for interviews and for further information contact:

Fr. Francis Duffy, Diocesan Secretary,     

Tel: 049 4331 496, 087 625 7272

Email: [email protected]