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Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in an address last night highlighted his disappointment that child protection procedures are still not being followed with the rigour required in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chief Executive, DRCC, said “Co-incidentally this morning, we received a letter from a group of 19 practising Roman Catholics from a parish in North County Dublin, who wanted us to bring their sentiments to the attention of the survivors of abuse. In their letter, in which they refer to themselves as a group of active and committed members of our Church, they unreservedly state that we are sincerely sorry for the failure of our church leaders to accept responsibility and act promptly to protect the victims when perpetrators were identified. We are also conscious that, as members of our Church, albeit lay members, we adopted a very passive approach over the years when we should have been more vigilant, more vocal and questioning of our church leaders and our Church Policies. They go on to say that they have chosen to remain within our Church with the objective of working fearlessly to change the current structures …. where the whole faithful, women as well as men, will play an effective role in its life and mission…..(and )within which children will be cherished and abuses of the kind uncovered in the Murphy and Ryan Reports will neither be tolerated nor ever covered up again……

Archbishop Martin appealed to all parishes in the archdiocese to ensure that all child protection measures are in place and in operation and that there is no let back on the level of vigilance. Hopefully Archbishop Martin will be able to call on the commitment and calibre of people like the 19 who signed this letter, to ensure that child protection measures are followed rigorously in the Catholic Church. “ Today also, the Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, published her investigation report on the implementation of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children. Her report concludes that ‘some of the problems identified-variable practice, a lack of internal and external scrutiny and a failure of interagency collaboration- (these) indicate a need for a fundamental change in culture and attitude towards child protection generally.’ The DRCC welcomes the 22 recommendations by the Ombudsman and we would like to see added to these recommendations a requirement for Child Protection Guidelines to be put on a statutory footing.

For further information please contact:
Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO, DRCC – 01 661 4911 / 086 809 9618

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