Four new claims of sexual abuse by Catholic Church emerge after documentary

IrishCentral [New York NY]

November 15, 2022

“Doc on One” sees more survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the Spiritan Order come forward.

Four people have come forward to the police over abuse allegations since an RTE documentary aired about the Spiritan Order’s abuse of two brothers at Blackrock College in Dublin. 

The new complaints had been received by the Sexual Crime Management Unit at the Garda National Protective Services Bureau, the central point for all abuse allegations against religious orders.

The Irish police released a statement saying that the four news survivors are being fully supported and each of the individual’s cases are being assessed. They added that they are “acutely aware of the profound and enduring impact that sexual, physical and emotional abuse has on victims and they have again urged people to contact the Sexual Crime Management Unit or their local Garda Station,” RTE reports.

They added, “They say all complaints will be dealt with sensitively but they have also cautioned that in some cases there may be limitations to the action they can take due to the loss of evidence over time or the death of suspects and/or witnesses.”

Irish leader Micheal Martin said all legal mechanisms should be used to pursue the perpetrators of historical sexual abuse. 

Ireland’s Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said that a public inquiry into the Spiritan Order has not been ruled out. 

Speaking at the launch of the Men’s Aid annual report this morning, Minister McEntee said it was “very upsetting” to hear what is emerging.

“This is something that was widespread and what is most important to me is that the people responsible for these crimes, abusing young boys, young children, that they’re held responsible,” she said.

The Chief Executive of One in Four, a charity that works with survivors of abuse, said the RTE documentary has encouraged a number of people to contact the organization.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Maeve Lewis said the documentary encouraged people – mostly middle-aged and older men – who had never before disclosed abuse, to contact One in Four.

Many said they had been abused in Blackrock, she said, but most said they had been abused in other schools or sporting organizations.