Statement by Bishop Leo O'Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore
on the publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
The publication last week of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child abuse is a stark reminder of how the Church failed to live up to the ideals of Christ our founder and inspiration. It was Christ who said: Let the little children come to me... and he put his arms around them and blessed them. The appalling abuse inflicted on so many children in many Church institutions in the past was a terrible betrayal of those children and of the ideals of Christ.
Establishing the truth of what happened is crucial and the Ryan Report is a major contribution to acknowledging what happened and vindicating those who were abused. I welcome its publication because it is an important step in ensuring that justice is given to victims and a warning to us that we must never be complacent when it comes to safeguarding children.
In the Diocese of Kilmore we are continuing to work to put new structures and procedures in place to ensure the safety and welfare of children in our care. Last week we issued a newsletter about what we have been doing over the past several years in the diocese to ensure that we are following best practice in the area of safeguarding children. We will shortly be launching a new handbook on child safeguarding procedures in the diocese. We are very grateful for the generous volunteers in every parish, many of them parents, who have given and continue to give their time to be involved in this as Parish Representatives, members of recruitment committees, trainers, members of the Diocesan Committee and so on.
Finally, I repeat the appeal I have made before, that anyone with information regarding child sexual abuse by priests in Kilmore diocese, should make contact with one of our Designated Persons, the Garda Siochána, the Health Service Executive or a support service of their choice. If they wish to access counselling they may contact the free, confidential helpline of the independent counselling service, Faoiseamh. Contact details of the Diocesan Designated Persons are in the recently published newsletter. These details and also the contact number for Faoiseamh are to be found on Church notice boards.
Bishop of Kilmore.