Action urged on child protection

Irish Times

BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent

The Government was last night urged to amend data protection legislation to make child protection frameworks in the Catholic Church and other organisations more effective.

The call came from Ian Elliott, chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, who said there was an urgent need for reform. Mr Elliott explained that data protection legislation prevents the sharing of information regarding child sexual abuse unless there is an imminent risk of harm to a child.

He instanced the case of a complainant going to the Garda about a named priest who then becomes the subject of a Garda investigation.

Gardaí are not entitled to share that information with the priest’s bishop, who is the person within the church responsible for the management of risk within his diocese.

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