During the past week, we published a review of our diocese that was conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland. This 32 page review is available on the diocesan website (Kandle.ie) along with the full statement I made to welcome and to respond to the report.
I would like to repeat here what I said during the week that ‘my thoughts today are with the survivors of abuse and with their families and I respectfully apologize to them for the hurt and offence they have carried and are still carrying’.
While the review comments that the diocese ‘has had relatively few cases to deal with’, it makes twelve recommendations so that this diocese can ‘develop its current structures to make them more robust’.
This work has already begun. We look forward to welcoming Mr Ian Elliott and his team back to the diocese in the coming months to check that all their recommendations have been fulfilled. Again we will make this follow-up review publicly available.
I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the work of safeguarding children in this diocese. All our priests and over 150 lay volunteers have been trained to help ensure that all our parishes are providing safe environments for our young people. I would like to pay special tribute to Bishop Moriarty for his leadership on these issues. All this good work is reflected in the review. May the Lord, the Good Shepherd, continue to inspire us in this vital work.
In conclusion we pray again for the gift of healing and peace, particularly for those wounded by the deep wrong of child abuse.
We are blessed in our Parish to have the involvement of so many children and young people – Altar servers, choirs, Parish Youth Group, John Paul ll awards candidates – and that’s before we get to the 100’s who will enrol for Sacramental preparation programmes. We greatly appreciate this involvement and treat it as a Sacred trust that we would ensure a safe environment for each and every one of them. It is a priority in the Parish to have all the necessary procedures and practices in place to provide such an environment.
All of the Priests of the Parish and other Parish persosafeguarding-childrennnel have undertake the Safeguarding Children course accredited by the HSE – all have also undergone Garda vetting.
To view Portlaoise Parish Safeguarding Children Statement click here.
To view Portlaoise Parish Safeguarding Children Policy click here