|Five More Diocese Priests Face Sex Abuse Allegations
By Caroline O’doherty
November 11, 2008
FIVE more priests are facing allegations of child sex abuse in the country’s largest Catholic diocese following complaints against them in the past 18 months.
They bring to 140 the number of priests who have been accused of sex abuse in the Dublin diocese.
A further 12 have been under suspicion but there are no formal allegations against them.
The scandal has cost the diocese more than ˆ12.4 million in settlements and legal costs so far. Some ˆ4.6m was paid out in the past 18 months — ˆ3.5m compensation and ˆ1.1m legal costs — and there are 26 civil actions and three criminal trials pending.
So far, 120 civil actions have been brought against 35 priests and 94 of those cases have been concluded. In addition, eight priests have been convicted in the criminal courts.
The number of victims involved is about 400 but the diocese conceded yesterday: “It is most likely that this is not a final figure.”
Maeve Lewis, director of the One in Four organisation for the victims of sex abuse, said the true number might never be known.
The diocese stressed the 152 priests about whom there have been allegations or suspicions were among more than 2,800 diocesan priests and religious fathers who served in its parishes over the 68 years that records cover.
The State Commission of Inquiry into abuse in the diocese is due to report to the Government at the end of January.
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