Retired Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly, has said that he is “profoundly ashamed” by the actions of some of the priests of the diocese.
In a personal statement issued after the publication of the review of safeguarding practice within the Church in Derry, carried out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC), Dr Daly repeated his apology to all victims of clerical abuse.
Dr Daly was Bishop of Derry from March 1974 to October 1993 when he retired due to health reasons. He has been out of office for the last 18 years.
Responding to the review, Dr Daly said; “I welcome this report. I welcome the fact that the diocese has decided to publish the full unedited test of the report.
“I am pleased that the current handling and management of these cases in the Derry Diocese has been declared to be satisfactory by the National Board.” The retired Bishop also added that he regretted any shortcoming he may have had during his time as head of the diocese.
“I am profoundly ashamed that children have been so gravely offended against by priests of the diocese.
“I have met a number of victims over the years and sincerely apologised to them.
“I greatly regret any failings or shortcomings that I may have had in dealing with these matters whilst I was in office,” he explained.
Dr Daly also said that he believes the Church has learned from the past.
“The management of these cases and the care of victims have evolved substantially and positively in recent years.
“I am satisfied that the Catholic Church’s handling of these cases in this diocese has greatly improved and the safety of children will continue to be of paramount concern,” he said.
Speaking following the publication of the Review, Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Eamon Martin, said decisions taken in the past not to refer allegations of clerical sex abuse to the authorities would have been taken by bishops.
A diocesan spokesperson said that Dr Daly will not be making any further public statement on the review.