Report into Abuse by Clergy on Hold Again

Clerical Whispers
November 10, 2008

The long-awaited report into the handling of complaints of child sexual abuse against clergy in the Dublin Archdiocese which was due to be published in September, has been delayed again and will not now be ready until the end of January 2009.

The Sunday Tribune understands that, while he has the power to do so, Justice minister Dermot Ahern has not ordered the Commission of Investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese to extend its investigation to other Catholic dioceses.

It had been speculated that the commission, which is chaired by circuit court judge Yvonne Murphy, would extend its investigations beyond Dublin.

But a spokeswoman for Minister Ahern said last week "no such order has been made"

Given that the commission has now about four months to run, it is highly unlikely the minister will make any such order before the end of the year.

Set up in March 2006 by the then Justice minister, Michael McDowell, the Commission of Investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese was instructed to investigate the handling of allegations of child sexual abuse made against priests in the Dublin Archdiocese and the response to such cases.

The minister also reserved the right to order the commission to investigate child abuse complaints in any other diocese where that diocese may not be implementing church guidelines in relation to child sexual abuse. by a priest or religious.

Minister McDowell said that the commission, which was given a €4.5m budget, would submit its final report "in 18 months at the latest".

But legal delays in establishing the commission saw that deadline moved to September 2008 before Minister Lenihan's move to extend that again to January 2009.



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