€10m for Dublin victims of clerical sex abuse

€10m for Dublin victims of clerical sex abuse

More than €10m in compensation has been paid out to victims of paedophile priests in the Dublin area, it was revealed today.

Allegations of child abuse have been made against almost 100 priests in the archdiocese over the last 70 years, with more than a third from the 1980s.

Complaints were lodged against five clergy who had never been subject to previous allegations in the last 12 months, according to Dublin's church watchdog.

Andrew Fagan, director of services with the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS) in Dublin, said there were ongoing efforts to maintain high standards in child safety.

"In Dublin, child safeguarding operates to a high standard and Dublin parishes are now safer places for children," he said.

"While the majority of allegations of abuse reported to us now, relate to sexual abuse which may have occurred many years ago, it is still crucial to be vigilant and to work to ensure standards are maintained."

Figures from the archdiocese's annual child protection report showed more than a third of all cases are alleged to have happened in the 1980s.

Elsewhere 2% happened in the 1940s, 4% in the 1950s, 23% in the 1960s, 27% in the 1970s, 9% in the 1990s and 1% in the last decade.

There have been 199 civil actions taken against 46 priests, of which 64 are ongoing, and 10 priests or former priests of the diocese have also been convicted in the criminal courts.

The costs, so far, to the Archdiocese for settlement of claims regarding child sexual abuse by priests is currently at €15.2m, including €10.3m in settlements and €4.9m in legal costs for both sides.

Mr Fagan said that despite years of reports, guidelines and training both inside and outside the church, many people still had a skewed perception of what safeguarding children in the Catholic Church involves.

He insisted all allegations of child sexual abuse received by the diocese are reported to the Gardaí and health chiefs, while information had been shared with the Murphy Report and in two Garda inquiries.

Thousands of priests, employees and volunteers across the diocese, as well as its agencies and parishes, have also been trained to national board standards and have undergone Garda vetting.

He said the diocese provides regular updates on its work publicly to reassure the public they were being kept informed.

Elsewhere Mr Fagan revealed the Archdiocese of Dublin was one of just a small number of organisations in Ireland, north and south, which supervises men who are deemed a risk to children.

The service aims to minimise the risk of these men offending again and is more extensive than services currently provided by the state, he added.

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