Bishop O'Reilly "revolted " by abuse wrongdoing

The Bishop of Ardagh of Clonmacnois Colm O'Reilly has said this week he finds the wrongdoing highlighted in the Report from the Dublin Commission of Inquiry into child abuse by clergy revolting and shameful. The Bishop has encouraged anyone in diocese who still feels they need to be heard in relation to child abuse to contact the civil authorities. He said: "The Report from the Dublin Commission of Enquiry into child abuse by clergy brings home once again the extent of the suffering caused to innocent children by priests who abused them. What makes this criminal activity most abhorrent is that it was perpetrated by people with a sacred calling who betrayed the trust place in them. A great wrong has been done which I find revolting and shameful." Bishop O'Reilly said it must be accepted that church leaders put the good of church as an institution before the welfare of the abused and failed to act in an appropriate manner. "I again express my apologies to all who have suffered abuse by church personnel and encourage anyone who still has need to be heard in this regard to approach the civil authorities of the diocese," he said. Bishop of Meath Michael Smith pointed out that over recent years the diocese had worked very closely with the HSE in putting in place trained child protection representatives in all parishes. "Progress reviews take place at regular intervals during the course of the year between diocesan and HSE personnel. The diocese has shared and continues to share with the HSE all information in relation to concerns that arise in the area of child protection," said Bishop Smith. He added that the advice of the HSE is followed in setting up reporting procedures, for which the diocesan delegate and parish representatives have been trained by HSE personnel. "If a complaint arises, the diocese gives its full cooperation to the Gardaí," said Bishop Smith. "If anyone has a child protection concern, disclosure or allegation, the diocese asks you to come forward so that children can be safeguarded and healing can begin. Contact details for the diocesan delegate and parish representatives are available."