October 28, 2005

Cabinet to discuss abuse inquiry for Dublin

Irish Times

Mark Brennock, Patsy McGarry and Martin Wall

The Cabinet will consider proposals for an inquiry into the Dublin archdiocese's handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations within a fortnight, the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Brian Lenihan, said yesterday.

Mr Lenihan said although there were no plans at the moment to hold inquiries outside Dublin, it was possible the Government would have to decide to hold inquiries in all dioceses.

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, who will bring the proposals to Cabinet, said the Government would now go ahead with a Commission of Inquiry in the case of the Dublin archdiocese, where there have been allegations against nearly 70 priests over the last 60 years. Mr McDowell said this inquiry could begin in parallel with a Government-ordered "audit" of dioceses throughout the State to check abuse allegations were now being handled in accordance with best practice.

As the first step in this audit, Mr McDowell said Mr Lenihan had "written to the bishops collectively and individually to ask them whether they are in fact implementing best practice as has been claimed". He said the Government would not take assurances from bishops "at face value" but would check the situation independently.

Posted by kshaw at October 28, 2005 07:35 PM