Abuse files ready to go

The Derry Diocese is refusing to speculate on the contents of a major report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations ahead of its publication next week.

The Diocese of Raphoe will publish its report in midweek, most likely on Wednesday, and it’s believed that reports from Derry and Dromore will follow almost immediately.

The reports have been carried out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, an independent body set up by the church.

The Board has now said that the reports are complete and ready for publication by the church.

A spokesman for the Derry Diocese said they were not in a position to comment on the report until after it had been published. He said they had not yet seen the contents of the report.

The National Board is looking into claims of abuse in every diocese in Ireland and the reports into Raphoe, Derry and Dromore will examine allegations dating as far back as the 1970s.

The Raphoe report will deal with how allegations involving paedophile priest Fr Eugene Greene, who was jailed for 12 years in 2000 after abusing at least 26 boys over a 30-year period and served nine years, were handled.

The victims and their families have been deeply critical of the Raphoe Diocese’s handling of Greene.

The recently retired Bishop of Derry Dr Seamus Hegarty was Bishop of Raphoe between 1982 and 1994.

It is anticipated that questions will arise in the Raphoe report in relation to how Greene was managed by church authorities.

Bishop Hegarty stood down recently on health grounds and Monsignor Eamon Martin has been appointed as the Derry Diocese’s new diocesan administrator.

Dealing with the publication of the report next week will be his first major task in his new leadership role.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland was set up by the church in 2006 to suggest ways to safeguard children, improvements in policy and to monitor practices.