Statutory inquiry urged into McQuaid

VICTIMS’ organisation One in Four has called for a statutory inquiry into Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid, as it emerged that gardaí are investigating two complaints of abuse against him.

Maeve Lewis, its executive director, said: “If the man is innocent we need to establish the truth. If the allegations are true then questions need to be asked about who else knew.”

It is unknown if complaints about the archbishop were ever made by alleged victims to gardaí or, if they were made, that they were followed up properly.

Meanwhile, a hearing is to take in the High Court on December 16 on whether chapter nine of the Dublin Archdiocese’s report on clerical abuse in Cloyne will be published or not. Publication of the chapter was delayed this summer due to pending court cases, which have since taken place.

It emerged this week that Archbishop McQuaid, who died in 1973, is the subject of two complaints of abuse. The first complaint was made to the Eastern Health Board in 2003 while a second complaint was made to the archdiocese in 2010.

The second case is now the subject of a civil case against the Dublin Archdiocese.

The 2009 archdiocese trawl was initiated at the request of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin after the HSE’s childcare “tsar”, Phil Garland, told him and the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation of the 2003 complaint.

Meanwhile, the author of a biography of Archbishop McQuaid has called on Cardinal Desmond Connell to apologise unreservedly for dismissing claims that the archbishop had improper sexual relations with boys.

A statement from John Cooney said: “It inflicted huge moral and material damage on me as an author and journalist. I would expect Cardinal Connell tooffer me, and my publisher, the O’Brien Press, this long overdue apology.”

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