DIOCESE IN SPOTLIGHT

PACEMAKER BELFAST''Bishop of Derry  Seamus Heggarty
PACEMAKER BELFAST''Bishop of Derry Seamus Heggarty

Potentially damning reports into the extent of clerical child sex abuse in both the Derry and Raphoe dioceses are to be published tomorrow morning.

The two reports have been conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church which helps to protect children from being abused by priests or anyone else.

In July of this year, at the request of the retired Bishop of Derry, Dr. Seamus Hegarty, a team from the Board carried out a review intended to assess if current child safeguarding practice in the Derry diocese complied with the national standards and guidance.

The review also aimed to ensure that all known allegations and concerns about child abuse are being appropriately dealt with.

A reliable source has told the ‘Journal’ that members of the review team were given access to “all” case management records in the Derry diocese.

The team also conducted interviews with “key personnel” involved in safeguarding - both within and external to the diocese.

It’s been suggested the Derry review could provide details of how it has dealt with child abuse since the mid-1970s and, how it deals with it now.

The board’s most eagerly awaited report is that into the neighbouring Diocese of Raphoe which covers most of County Donegal.

It is where one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priests, Eugene Greene, abused more than 20 boys over 20 years.

Bishop Seamus Hegarty is expected to be in the spotlight following tomorrow’s publications. He was bishop in Raphoe during the 1980s and early 90s while Eugene Greene was abusing boys in the diocese. Questions are expected to arise over how Green was managed.

The completed report will be published in full on the Derry Diocesan website at 11 a..m. on Wednesday morning.