Diocese confirms two child protection audits completed

The Dioceses of Raphoe has confrimed that two audits have been carried out into child protection in the diocese.

The Dioceses of Raphoe has confrimed that two audits have been carried out into child protection in the diocese.

The diocese confirmed this week that audits have been completed by the catholic church’s National Board for the Safegaurding of Children and the HSE.

The statement from the diocese comes on the back of mounting pressure for a full independent inquiry into clerical abuse in the dioceses following the publication of the report on the Cloynes diocese last week.

Dioceses communications officer Fr. Paddy Dunne told the Donegal Democrat the final report of the review of the dioceses by the National Board for Safeguarding Children has not been finalised yet and the dioceses is waiting to receive both it and a HSE report. Both reports are welcomed by Bishop Philip Boyce, he said.

“It is the intention of the dioceses to publish the report shortly after we receive it,” he said. “The Bishop welcomes both the reports and hopes that they strengthen the safeguarding procedures in the dioceses.” He added that the bishop would welcome any inquiry in the dioceses.

In a letter to the Irish Times this week the bishop said he had fully co-operated with the audit by the HSE and the audit review by the National Board for Safeguarding Children.

“The diocese takes the duty of safeguarding children very seriously,” he said. He said all allegations of abuse in the diocese are reported to the statutory authorities and all 33 parishes have two or more child protection representatives who train all church personnel who are involved in activities with children.

He said an audit of good practise is carried out every year in each parish every year and forwarded to the National Board for Safeguarding Children. Vetting for those who work with children have also been put in place, he said.

The bishops’ letter was in response to an Irish Times article by journalist Mary Rafferty in which she identified the Raphoe and Derry dioceses as the two of the most obvious cases for an independent inquiry. The diocese of Raphoe, she said, has had “persistent allegations that there was knowledge of abuse at the highest levels which was not acted on”.

Retired detective Martin Ridge, who investigated the case of father Eugene Greene has also called for a an full inquiry into the dioceses. “Those who presided over the carnage are still in power,” he said. “Victims were let down by every system, the church the health service and even the gardaí.”