A church watchdog is due to publish the findings of an investigation into the full extent of all complaints and allegations of child sexual abuse made to the Raphoe diocese since 1975. The report, for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, is expected to be published by the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, within the next two weeks.
The audit of the diocese was led by Ian Elliott chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. The board was founded in 2006 and has now compiled audits on six of Ireland’s 26 dioceses.
The board was tasked with uncovering the full extent of all complaints or allegations, knowledge, suspicions or concerns of child sexual abuse, made to the Raphoe diocese by individuals or by the civil authorities in the period 1 January 1975 to the present day, against Catholic clergy.
Its objective will be ‘to confirm how known allegations have been responded to and what the current arrangements for safeguarding children are’ in the Raphoe diocese.
The report is expected to be a shocking report according to recent media reports revealing how peadophile priests abused a high number of children over a period of almost four decades.
It will come in the wake of a series of damning reports which have rocked the church with revelations about the scale of sex abuse in the diocese of Cloyne, in the archdiocese of Dublin and by religious orders.
Following the setting up of child protection committees throughout the Raphoe diocese, each parish in Raphoe now has two child protection representatives. The next investigation will commence on the diocese of Armagh. All of the investigations are due to be completed by mid-2012.