January 22, 2005

Cleaner ‘abused children in church’

Sunday Times

Enda Leahy

THE first case of alleged sexual abuse of a child in a sanctified church building will go to trial in the central criminal court in Dublin later this year.

A Donegal man, who was employed as a cleaner by the Catholic church, faces 13 counts of sexual assault and rape. He is expected to plead not guilty to the charges.

Colm O’Gorman, the founder and head of One in Four, the Irish charity for victims of sexual abuse, said: “I’ve never heard of any cases of this happening within the physical structure of a church. No one in our organisation has heard of such a case in fact. Though of course that’s not to say that this is the first time it has happened.”

O’Gorman said a high proportion of child abuse took place in the diocese of Raphoe, which covers most of Co Donegal. Last year it emerged that Dr Philip Boyce, the Bishop of Raphoe, left three priests in their posts even though they were under investigation by the gardai for child abuse. Church policy at the time should have resulted in the removal of the suspects until the investigations were completed.

Posted by kshaw at January 22, 2005 07:01 PM