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Ireland braced for "sordid" clerical abuse report

Last Updated: Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 12:49

Dublin: Ireland braced for a second report into clerical child abuse on Thursday in a country still reeling from harrowing findings of an inquiry earlier this year.
Disclosures in May of decades of floggings, slave labour and gang rape in much of Ireland`s now defunct system of industrial and reform schools shamed the Irish and further eroded the Catholic Church`s moral authority in the country.

A report on the handling of allegations of child sex abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin from 1975 to 2004 will be published on Thursday and church leaders have already warned of its horrific content.

"In these days we will be reading of sordid events that took place within the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin," Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said at a ceremony last week.

Work on the report, which began in 2006, was completed months ago but publication was delayed until clearance was given by the High Court last week with some details removed because they could jeopardise criminal proceedings.

The National Counselling Service said on Wednesday that it had organised a coordinated response with other groups after it saw a 49 percent increase in calls following the publication of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse findings in May.

In the five-volume report, which took nine years to compile, orphanages and industrial schools in 20th century Ireland were described as places of fear, neglect and endemic sexual abuse.

That inquiry, chaired by a high court judge, criticised religious authorities for covering up the crimes and the Department of Education for colluding in the silence. It noted children were also preyed upon by foster parents, volunteer workers and employers.

The report is due for release at 2.15 pm by the Justice Ministry.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 12:49
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