Review of Safeguarding Practice in Clogher Diocese.
On Wednesday, April 24th the Review of Safeguarding Practices in the Diocese of Clogher
was launched at a Press Conference held in St. Macartan’s College, Monaghan. This
comprehensive review was undertaken by the National Board for Safeguarding Children
in the Catholic Church in Ireland. The Board began work, after an invite by Bishop
MacDaid, in Early November 2012. All documentation relating to cases of abuse by
priests in the Diocese was examined and interviews were held with key personnel.
They also examined the safeguarding policies and procedures that now apply within
At the outset the review thanks the Bishop, his staff, and the volunteers engaged
in safeguarding in the Diocese for their openness and willingness to engage and commended
the enthusiasm and commitment to effective safeguarding that was found during the
review process in Clogher. They point out that Bishop MacDaid has, since his ordination
as Bishop in July 2010, worked strenuously to ensure that good working relationships
were maintained with the key statutory safeguarding agencies in both jurisdictions
for his Diocese which includes The Gardai, the PSNI, the HSE and the HSC Trusts.
The report is clear that many mistakes were made in the past and the Chairman of
the Press Conference, Fr. Shane McCaughey, described the publication of this Review
as a major step in the Diocese’s journey of healing the hurt which has happened in
the past and a reassurance that our church is now a very safe place for children,
both now and into the future. The Review states that the issue of safeguarding children
effectively is prioritised in this Diocese, which has ‘developed a framework of volunteers
and staff and tasked them with the responsibility of ensuring that this happens’.
It means that every effort is being made to make sure that the hurts and mistakes
of the past cannot be repeated and that no one need suffer in silence.
However as Bishop MacDaid stated at the conference – ‘this is a good news story but
there is further work to be done’ and we can never become complacent. The Review
finds that the Diocese is fully compliant with 41 of the 48 standards laid down by
the Sponsoring Body and is partially compliant with the remaining 7. It makes recommendations
as to how the Diocese can improve its procedures to keep within what is accepted
as safe practice. Bishop MacDaid also urged anyone who had suffered abuse at the
hands of priests or religious to get in touch with the civil authorities and to make
contact with the Diocese and promised that the Diocese would give whatever assistance
it could to them.
In recent decades the Church has taken a huge hit and our faith has been tested.
The actions of a few and the inaction of fewer still has tarnished our image and
left people with terrible suffering and trauma. This needs to be a step into the
future where we refocus on the good and work together to rebuild and that by defeating
evil, the good will triumph. Clogher is giving the lead and the National Board for
Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland will work towards achieving
safe practice in all dioceses.
The full Review can be read and downloaded from the diocesan website at www.clogherdiocese.ie
Fr. Shane McCaughey,
Press Confertence Organiser.
Bishop Liam S. MacDaid,
Bishop of Clogher.
Mr. Brendan Kelly
Designated Person for Clogher
Ms. Deirdre Boyle Chairperson of Clogher Safeguarding Committee
Mr. Pat Drury
Coordinator of Safeguarding Services in Clogher Diocese.