Monday, July 27, 2009

Release Date of Abuse Report is Delayed

26 July 2009
Original article
By John Burke
The report into clerical sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese will not be published before the end of August at the earliest, The Sunday Business Post has learned.

The report is understood to detail the widespread cover-up of child abuse in the archdiocese, with a number of abusers moved from one ministry to another after church figures were informed of complaints by parents and victims.

However, it is understood that the Commission of Investigation was surprised by the relatively small number of people who presented themselves for interview to the inquiry team during its investigations.

One source who has viewed sections of the report in a preliminary form described it as ‘‘harrowing’’, but said it was unlikely to have the same impact on the public as the Ryan report into clerical abuse in industrial schools and detention centres.

The inquiry team, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, sent copies of the report to Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, Attorney General Paul Gallagher and Minister for Children Barry Andrews last week.

Ahern will not decide what action he may take in relation to publishing the report until he receives advice from Gallagher.

Two advocacy groups, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and One In Four, have written to Ahern asking him to delay publication of the report due to the pressure on their help services following the release of the Ryan report.

The Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation was set up in March 2006. It has investigated how child sex abuse allegations against a representative sample of 46 priests were handled by 19 bishops in Dublin between January 1, 1975, and April 30, 2004.

The report contains separate chapters on each of the 46 clerics. Three chapters of the report relate to three clerics against whom criminal charges have been brought recently.

The three criminal cases are not expected to be concluded before early next year.

Among the government’s options are to obscure the names of the clerics and their parishes; to give them pseudonyms; or to publish 43 chapters of the report and delay the final three for later publication after the men’s cases have been processed through the courts.

Ahern has said he is anxious that the matters dealt with in the report ‘‘are put into the public domain as quickly as possible’’.

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