Carraig na bhFear, Cork: Joint Garda/HSE Probe Into Alleged Child Sex Abuse At Former RC Boarding School: UPDATED

31 Aug

NEWS UPDATE:

Five fresh claims of child sex abuse at Carrignavar school

FIVE new allegations of child sexual abuse at a Cork school were received by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in the past month, according to the order.

The complaints were all lodged since Senator Mark Daly used Seanad privilege in July to disclose how the order had failed to properly supervise Fr Donnacha Mac Carthaigh, former principal of the Sacred Heart College in Carrignavar, Co Cork.

Fr Mac Carthaigh was on restricted ministry after seven complaints of abuse were lodged against him between 1986 and 2008.

The complaints refer to the period when it was a boys’ boarding school. It has been a co-educational day school since the 1990s.

Garda sources have revealed that in recent weeks, stations nationwide were contacted by ex-pupils with concerns about past abuse.

The HSE’s director of children and family services, Gordon Jeyes, has said he is to investigate child welfare at the former boarding school. The National Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also investigating.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church is investigating the order’s handling of abuse complaints.

Last night, a spokesman for the order said: “It is our intention that all survivors of child sexual abuse will be offered appropriate help and support through the proper agencies. We encourage those who wish to come forward to contact the Towards Healing helpline.”

*Towards Healing: 1800 30352; HSE freephone helpdesk: 1800 742 800; Harbour: 1800 234 116; Cork Sexual Violence Centre 1800 496 496; One in Four 01 662 4070.
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The HSE and the gardaí are jointly examining allegations of child sexual abuse at a former Catholic boarding school in Co Cork.

HELPLINE:  HSE National Counselling Service

Historic complaints about boarding school

Historic complaints about boarding school

Gardaí and the Health Service Executive are jointly examining allegations of child sexual abuse at a former Catholic boarding school in Co Cork.

The HSE is focusing on identifying children who may be currently at risk, while gardaí are conducting a criminal investigation into past events.

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, which closed the school in 1995, has received five historic complaints within the past month in addition to those which prompted the inquiry.

The HSE said it acted in response to recent child protection concerns regarding the boarding school in Carraig na bhFear near Cork City.

It emphasised that these related to the time when the Missionary Order ran the facility, which is now a day-school under separate management.

It is understood that the inquiry is being conducted under Section 3 of the Child Care Act, which obliges the HSE to take steps it considers necessary to identify children who are currently at risk.

Welcoming the inquiry, the Ministers for Justice and Children said they had been assured that none of those against whom allegations had been made were currently engaged in any work activities which brought them into contact with children.

Several former students have complained they were sexually abused and early this month, at the Missionaries’ invitation, Ian Elliott, the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog began auditing the Order’s response to all allegations.

The Order says it is fully co-operating with officers from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and that a confidential telephone helpline will open shortly.

In a statement, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said they welcomed the investigation.

‘Both Ministers are limited in what they can publicly state at this time as they are anxious to ensure that nothing is said that could cause difficulties of any nature for the inquiry being conducted by the HSE nor which could, in any way, inhibit the Garda investigation or prejudice any prosecutions that may result,’ the sattement read.

‘In the context of serious allegations that have been made they, however, believe it is important to state that they have been assured that none of those against whom allegations have been made are currently engaged in any work activities which bring them into contact with children.’

RELATED ARTICLE:  HSE investigation into Cork boarding school

HELPLINES: www.spunout.ie & www.teenline.ie & www.letsomeoneknow.ie & www.3ts.ie & www.garda.ie

NEWS UPDATE:

THE HSE and the Garda Síochána have launched an inquiry into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at a Cork school while it was run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

Last night, the HSE confirmed it is to initiate an inquiry into “matters relating to the protection and welfare of children” who attended Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, in Carrignavar, Co Cork. The inquiry will co-operate with Detective Superintendent John McCann of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit.

Anyone with information or a concern in relation to any allegations have been advised to contact the HSE or the Garda Síochána.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the inquiry.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church has begun two probes into the order’s handling of child protection complaints on foot of the allegations.

The HSE inquiry comes after it emerged last month that sexual and physical abuse complaints were made against Fr Donncha Mac Cárthaigh and Fr Tadhg Daly, who were principal and dean at the school.

The order said this month that another member was removed from ministry after an allegation of child abuse against him.

NEWS UPDATE: Source: THE IRISH TIMES:

Three investigations are under way into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart congregation while managing their Coláiste an Chroí Naofa school outside Cork city.

Last night both the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter welcomed decisions by the HSE and an Garda Síochána to investigate “concerns regarding the welfare and protection of children who attended a boarding school in Carraig na bhFear, Cork, run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart”.

It is also understood the congregation requested that the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children, conduct a review of child protection procedures at the school, which is currently under way.

State investigations there have been initiated by HSE national director Gordon Jeyes, and by Det Supt John McCann of the Garda’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit.

Last night Ms Fitzgerald said she “met Gordon Jeyes to discuss the issues involved and welcomed the priority being given by the HSE to the inquiry”.

The Ministers said she also felt that it was important to state they have been assured “that none of those against whom allegations have been made are currently engaged in any work activities which bring them into contact with children”.

In the Seanad on July 27th Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly named a priest who had taught at the school. Despite seven cases of alleged child abuse against the priest being reported to four different Garda stations between 1986 and 2008, the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to pursue a criminal prosecution against him, said Mr Daly.

Mr Daly said the Sacred Heart Missionaries had settled a civil case in relation to this priest before it was brought to court and accused them of failure to enforce restrictions placed upon the priest.

Last year, he said, the priest had been advertised as spiritual director for a pilgrimage abroad, where he could have unsupervised access to children.

Related

Clerical child abuse – an Irish timeline | 13/07/2011

New Catholic trust to oversee 112 schools | 14/06/2007

Bishop denies Raphoe abuse claims | 11/08/2011

Contact details for counselling services | 13/07/2011

‘To the victims of abuse: You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry’ | 22/03/2010

National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church

HSE National Counselling Service

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