116 new Church sex abuse allegations

A total of 116 new allegations of sexual abuse were reported to the Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children from last April to March 2016.

There were 65 allegations made against diocesan priests and 51 were reported in relation to religious priests and Brothers and Sisters.

Separately, there were 37 allegations of emotional and physical abuse against one religious congregation.

The majority of the abuse reported in this period of April 2015 to March 2016, related to incidences that took place in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

There was also an incident of alleged abuse that took place in 2015.

“This one case [2015] deserves particular mention as it happened so recently, demonstrating that a risk to children still exists,” the report published said.

Overall, there was an increase in allegations made against diocesan priests from 58 in the last report to this year’s 65.

In relation to criminal investigations arising out of the allegations, victims did not proceed with their complaints to policing bodies.

“As has been noted in previous years, most complainants do not proceed to make statements to An Garda Síochána or the PSNI, and therefore there are few criminal investigations and consequent prosecutions,” read the report.

Chief executive of the board, Teresa Devlin said many people who report allegations of abuse end up feeling dissatisfied.

“It is recognised that many complainants feel dissatisfied with the response they receive when they come forward with an allegation of abuse.

“Further work on this initiative will take place in 2016, when complainants’ views will be sought prior to any final guidance being published,” Ms Devlin said.

  • The annual report is available on the www.safeguarding.ie website.


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