On behalf of the Diocese of Cashel & Emly I welcome this report of the National Board for Safeguarding Children and fully accept its recommendations. The majority of the recommendations have been implemented and the remainder will be completed as speedily as possible.
Firstly, I re-iterate my sincere apologies to those who have been harmed in this manner by priests of the Diocese. What happened to them was an outrageous betrayal of the priests’ calling and deserves our complete condemnation. Their suffering continues and we once again offer them not only our prayers but assistance in any way we can.
The report by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) on safeguarding practice in Cashel & Emly is generally very positive and complimentary for which we are grateful. I warmly thank them for this on behalf of the priests and people of the Diocese.
It is a testament to the commitment and hard work of all those who endeavour to ensure that our practices and procedures are the best we can possibly make them. However, there can be no room for complacency. The hard work must continue so that we can be assured that the children and young adults in our midst are kept safe from harm. Vigilance is essential as the threat of harm does not go away. Therefore, we must be constantly on our guard and keep in place the necessary structures to enable those who have any evidence, or suspicions, of wrongdoing to take appropriate action such as informing the Designated Officer, the Gardai or the HSE.
While the structures are hugely important, the safeguarding of children in our Diocese could not have been the subject of complimentary remarks from the NBSCCCI without the work being done on a daily basis by the priests, religious and the many volunteers. I very much appreciate the wonderful work they continue to do.
I am most grateful to the Diocesan Committee for Safeguarding Children, the Child Protection Delegate, Bill Meagher, and Sr. Carmel Bourke, the Diocesan Child Protection Co-ordinator. I would also like to thank the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church for their guidance and assistance over the past number of years. I also appreciate this valuable and helpful assessment of safeguarding policies and practices in our Diocese.
I can assure the people of the Diocese that we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the children and young people involved in Church activities. The work continues. But, please keep in your prayers those who suffered and continue to suffer.