Dublin: Horrific details of child sex abuse by Irish Catholic priests and the way the offences were covered up by the Church have been revealed in a sickening report. Dublin authorities enjoyed a cosy relationship with the Church and did not enforce the law as four archbishops, obsessed with secrecy and avoiding scandal, protected abusers and reputations at all costs.
Hundreds of crimes against defenceless children from the 1960s to the 1990s were not reported while Irish police treated clergy as though they were above the law.
In a three-year inquiry, the Commission to Inquire into the Dublin Archdiocese uncovered a sickening tactic of “don’t ask, don’t tell” throughout the Church.
While the Dublin Archdiocese inquiry found no evidence of a paedophile ring, some findings included: One priest admitted sexually abusing more than 100 children – Another accepted he abused on a fortnightly basis during his 25-year ministry – One complaint was made against a priest who later admitted abusing at least six other children.
Four archbishops – John Charles McQuaid who died in 1973, Dermot Ryan who died in 1984, Kevin McNamara who died in 1987, and retired Cardinal Desmond Connell – did not hand over information on abusers.
Other bishops knew about the child abuse for many years. Bishop James Kavanagh, Bishop Dermot O’Mahony, Bishop Laurence Forristal, Bishop Donal Murray and disgraced Bishop Brendan Comiskey, a reformed alcoholic who failed to control paedophile priests when in charge of the Ferns Diocese were all named.
The 700-page report includes 45 potted histories of priests from 1975 to 2004 who were investigated by the Commission.