BREAKING NEWS: Donegal: Hundreds of Children Sexually Abused By 20 Priests / Raphoe Report To Reveal

11 Aug

Raphoe report to reveal abuse of hundreds of children in Donegal

Counselling referrals up 50pc after sex abuse conviction

Notorious paedophile priest was caught out by his own arrogance

Fr Eugene Greene went to the gardai when one of his victims attempted to blackmail him

Fr Eugene Greene went to the gardai when one of his victims attempted to blackmail him



A shocking new report will reveal how up to 20 paedophile priests abused hundreds of children in one diocese over a 40-year period — sparking a new cover-up scandal for the Catholic Church.

Clergy are severely criticised for the way victims and their families were treated in the diocese of Raphoe, Co Donegal.

The report is due out later this month.

It will come in the wake of a series of damning reports which have rocked the church with revelations about the scale of sex abuse in the diocese of Cloyne, in the archdiocese of Dublin and by religious orders.

The report, for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, is expected to be published by the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, in the next two weeks.

It is understood the board received “total cooperation” from Dr Boyce.

The contents of the report are said to be “horrific” and outline a catalogue of allegations against priests who abused young children and senior colleagues who failed their victims.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of victims,” one source told the Irish Independent, “and they were abused again and again while the church actively prevented investigations by the civil authorities.

“The Raphoe diocese, like others, was only interested in protecting the church and not the victims”

In one case the Irish Independent has learned about a priest who raped young boys in one of Raphoe’s 33 parishes and was “sent away” for less than a month after the parents of a young boy made a complaint to the church.

The incident, in 1977, left the family devastated when they realised the priest was returning to the parish. The family were assured that the church had “dealt with” the matter and that no more incidents would take place.

The priest in question was moved through several other parishes over a 30-year period as the diocese failed again and again to deal with him. He continued to target young boys and abuse them. Gardai were never informed of the allegations.

When gardai did become involved in a number of investigations, the church was uncooperative, obstructive and misled detectives.

Even though the diocese had investigated allegations against some priests, no files were ever handed over to gardai and no records were ever found.

In another incident, the parents of one victim claim they were asked by a senior cleric if they were “all right” financially.

One victim, raped by a Catholic priest in the diocese, told the Irish Independent: “I cannot begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing this audit being published. It will be like a dark cloud lifting off me.


“The cover-up by the church in Rome and here in Ireland is finally being exposed. I have no doubt Dr Boyce will apologise to people like me, but what we want is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Another victim insisted the authorities had to go much further than publishing the audit. “In every walk of life, someone who covers up a crime or who prevents a criminal from being brought to justice is arrested and charged with helping an offender or perverting the course of justice.”

The audit of the diocese was led by Ian Elliott chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. The board was founded in 2006 and has compiled audits on six of Ireland’s 26 dioceses.

A spokesman for Mr Elliott said his board ‘s report examined “the full extent of all complaints or allegations, knowledge, suspicions or concerns of child sexual abuse, made to the Raphoe diocese by individuals or by the civil authorities in the period 1 January 1975 to the present day, against Catholic clergy.”

The clergy included all members of religious congregations affiliated with Raphoe.

Raphoe diocese press officer, Fr Paddy Dunne, told the Irish Independent he believed the audit would be published within weeks. “No exact date has been set for its publication but I believe it will be before the end of August,” he said.

“It is very important that we are open and honest about what is in it and that we deal with all the issues which are raised.”

The Raphoe diocese set up a child protection committee in June 2006. Bishop Boyce said last month that all abuse allegations are now reported to gardai.

Each parish now has two or more child protection representatives who train all church personnel who have contact with children.

– Greg Harkin

Irish Independent



 Bishop of Raphoe: Newspaper story on abuse report ‘not in public interest’

The Bishop of Raphoe has dismissed a newspaper article about the contents of a report into allegations of clerical child sex abuse in a Co Donegal diocese.

The article, in the Irish Independent, claims that hundreds of children were abused in Raphoe by around 20 priests over a 40-year period.

Bishop Philip Boyce said the report was “inaccurate and misleading and not in the public interest”.

The audit in Raphoe for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church is expected to be published later this month.

According to the article, there were “hundreds of victims who were abused again and again” and “the church actively prevented investigations by the civil authorities”.

Bishop Boyce has said that all allegations of abuse made known to the Diocese of Raphoe were reported to the Gardaí and the Health Service Executive.

He said he had given the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church his full co-operation.

He added that once he received the report, he would publish it, probably next month.


A new report is expected to reveal how 20 priests abused hundreds of children in a Co Donegal diocese over 40 years.

The report from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, into abuse in Raphoe, will be published later this month.

The contents of this report follow an audit of the diocese of Raphoe by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic church.

The report is expected to highlight hundreds of cases of abuse by 20 priests based in the diocese over a 40-year period .

The report will also severely criticise the Church for a continued cover-up.

It is reported to have found that the Church was “uncooperative, obstructive and misleading when gardaí became involved in a number of investigations”.

This report follows the recent publication of the Cloyne report, which shed further light on the Church mishandling and cover-up of clerical sex abuse.


A priest in Cork has called on former bishop Dr John Magee to publicly answer questions about criticisms of him in the Cloyne Report.

 John Magee - Former bishop

John Magee – Former bishop

Father Joe McGuane also urged the country’s Catholic bishops to reveal the names of the six dioceses where the church’s own child protection watchdog has completed audits of child protection.

Fr McGuane warned Dr Magee to speak to the media before he is tracked down.

The Cloyne Report, published four weeks ago, found Bishop Magee responsible for his diocese’s failure to tell the civil authorities about nine out of 15 allegations of child sexual abuse against a number of his priests.

Immediately, Bishop Magee issued a statement of apology and accepted the report in its entirety. But since then, his spokesman has been telling journalists requesting interviews that his whereabouts is unknown.

Fr McGuane recalled the case of Bishop Eamon Casey who, following a scandal about fathering a son, was found by an Irish journalist in Latin America.

Fr McGuane, who is a hospital chaplain in Youghal, also urged the country’s Catholic bishops to reveal the names of the six dioceses where the church’s own child protection watchdog has completed audits of child protection.

He supported Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin in his call on the bishops concerned to publish them.

Bishop of Raphoe Dr Philip Boyce has promised to publish the findings about his diocese by the National Board for the Protection of Children in the Catholic Church.

The Apostolic Administrator of Cloyne, Dr Dermot Clifford has said he will convene a meeting of his diocesan priests early next month to discuss reaction to the Cloyne Report.

A spokesman for the Archbishop said the timing of the planned meeting was to accommodate holiday arrangements. Dr Clifford was responding to criticism by the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland of his failure to call clergy together since the report’s publication a month ago.

Archbishop Clifford’s spokesman also said that at least four meetings of diocesan priests were held during the two years leading up to the publication. He said they were addressed by experts in the healing of victims, public relations and child protection.


Morale among priests in the diocese of Cloyne has been shattered by a lack of leadership since a damning report on the cover-up of clerical sex abuse was published, a clergyman has claimed.

Clergy from parishes across east Cork are also said to be upset and angry that child protection measures were not followed by former bishop John Magee.

The Cloyne report revealed the one-time Vatican aide and papal envoy deliberately misled authorities and failed to report clerical abuse allegations as recently as three years ago.

Fr Tony Flannery, of the Association of Catholic Priests, said: “The morale of the priests has been fairly shattered by all of this.

“There is a general sense of a lack of leadership in the church at this very crucial time.”

Priests from Cloyne discussed the fall-out from the report at a private meeting organised by the association in Cork on Tuesday.

The event was staged just days after one Cloyne priest, Fr Joseph McGuane, maintained there was a culture of fear within the diocese.

However Fr Flannery, a member of the Redemptorist Community in Athenry, Co Galway, said Fr McGuane’s comments were not discussed at the meeting.

He said he also felt it would make little difference if Dr Magee – whose whereabouts remain a mystery – were to face the public over the disturbing report.

Press Association

Related Stories

Current Papal Nuncio will respond to Cloyne

Papal Nuncio recalled to Rome for Cloyne talks


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