Victims and survivors of sexual and physical abuse have reacted angrily to the publication of the findings of the report into safeguarding in the Derry diocese.
Derry man Jon McCourt, who was abused as a boy at the Catholic Church-run Termonbacca childrens home, described the report as a whitewash and compared it to the British government’s now-disgraced first report into the Bloody Sunday massacre.
“If this had been politics one name and one word springs to mind; Widgery,” he said.
Mr McCourt is a member of the SAVIA (Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse) who have been calling for a state-sponsored probe into allegations of clerical and institutional abuse.
Another Derry abuse victim, John Heaney, who was abused by other children while in Church care, dismissed the publication of the latest review as a “PR exercise.”
“It’s a disgrace, this is only about saying, ‘Look at what we’ve put in place, look how great we are now’. Well it’s too late, not even a hint of an apology.
“If you look at the report, there’s not one mention of prior 1975 victims, there is no mention of any type of help or support for those people still suffering to this day due to the abuse,” he said.
Monsignor Martin, Diocesan Administrator of the Derry Diocese, rejected claims that the report was a publicity exercise.
The lay person in charge of safeguarding practice in the Derry diocese, Mary McCafferty. praised the courage of victims who have come forward. “Over the last four plus years I have met a number of victims, some of whom have carried their past for decades.
“I have nothing but admiration for the courage it takes,” she said.