Amnesty International UK: Press releases

Amnesty International UK

March 1, 2018

Northern Ireland: Amnesty calls for clerical child abuse inquiry following latest revelations
Amnesty International has called for Secretary of State Karen Bradley to set up a public inquiry into clerical child sex abuse in Northern Ireland following revelations of abuse by Father Malachy Finnegan, former president of St Colman’s College in Newry.

Fr Finnegan, who died in 2002, was accused of sex abuse by 12 people. Victims claim that police in Newry were alerted to the allegations in 1996 but failed to interview the priest. The police say that a formal complaint was never made, but they did receive a report of historical abuse.

Amnesty maintains that the Fr Finnegan abuse scandal is the latest in a litany of such cases, and have again called for a full public inquiry which the human rights organisation first made in November 2012.

Reviews by the Catholic Church’s own safeguarding body have revealed that more than 100 priests in Northern Ireland are alleged to have been responsible for child abuse since the mid-1970s.

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