184 new allegations of historic abuse by Catholic clergy raised in the last year

184 new allegations of historic abuse by Catholic clergy raised in the last year

Dozens of new allegations or suspicions of historic abuse by Catholic clergy have been raised with a national watchdog in the past year.

The National Board for Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) says the allegations concern physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

It says all 184 claims have been passed on to the Gardaí and PSNI - as well as Tusla.

The Board said that it also received 81 allegations of physical and emotional abuse which had previously been reported to civil authorities by a religious congregation.

Abuse allegations against Diocesan clergy relate to 1950 up to 1997, with one case noted outside this timeframe where the abuse is alleged to have taken place in 2006.

In the case of Religious Orders and Congregational priests and religious, abuse allegations relate to 1950 up to 1990, with one case where the abuse is alleged to have taken place in 1999.

The Board has received no allegations of abuse taking place after 2006 in the year under review.

NBSCCCI chief executive officer Teresa Devlin welcomed the continued improvements in prompt reporting of all allegations to the civil authorities and commended church authorities for maintaining their focus on safeguarding children.

"We are acutely conscious of the significance of the phrase ‘who watches the watchmen’," said Ms Devlin.

"During the year under review, The Board commissioned Dr Ann Marie Nolan from Trinity College Dublin to examine all Diocesan reviews.

"We need to make sure that we have been consistent, that we applied our standards correctly and to highlight any recurring issues that we should address."

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