Statement by Bishop Noel Treanor on the sentencing of James Donaghy
Friday 10th February 2011
“On behalf of the diocese I hope that the sentence handed down today will assist the victims on their journey towards healing. I pray that all who have suffered so profoundly will now be enabled to find inner strength and peace. The safeguarding of children and young people is paramount. I would reiterate the Diocese’s sincere and unequivocal apologies to all those who have suffered abuse by clergy and religious.
Following today’s sentencing the internal Church process, which was suspended for the duration of the statutory investigation and civil proceedings, will now be resumed.”
Note to Editors
1. A report regarding the abuse of a minor was first received by the Diocese of Down and Connor in March 2004 and the police and the statutory authorities were informed.
2. Following that investigation, the Public Prosecution Service decided in August 2006 that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
3. James Donaghy stepped down from his duties in March 2004 and has not worked as a priest since. He further resigned his office of Parish Priest of Bangor in July 2009.
4. Following a further allegation in 2009 the police re-instated their investigation which led to today’s sentence.
5. There has been an internal review of all cases pertaining to child safeguarding in the Diocese of Down and Connor carried out in 2009. A further internal review by independent professionals into all such cases, living and deceased, was carried out in 2011 in accordance with Standard 7 of the ‘Standards and Guidance’ of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. A summary of the 2011 review can be accessed on the diocesan website www.downandconnor.org/safeguarding
Fr Edward McGee, Tel. 07811144268