Ireland Report into Abuse by Catholic Priests Finds Police Coverup

By Walsh, Jason | The Christian Science Monitor, December 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Ireland Report into Abuse by Catholic Priests Finds Police Coverup


Walsh, Jason, The Christian Science Monitor


That the Catholic church covered up sexual abuse by priests for years is hardly news anymore. But the highest-profile investigation into abuse allegations yet in Ireland found another breach of public trust: The Garda Siochana, the police force for the republic, failed to investigate reports of priest abusing children and conspired to protect Catholic officials in Dublin for 30 years.

The commission on child abuse by Catholic priests in Dublin led by Judge Yvonne Murphy released its long-awaited report on the matter last week. Justice Murphy's commission investigated how allegations of child sex abuse by priests in the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin were dealt with by both state and church authorities from 1975 to 2004. The report slammed the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland and, for the first time, reprimanded state agencies, particularly the Garda.

Unlike the Catholic sex abuse scandal uncovered by The Boston Globe in the archdiocese of Boston in 2002 where, instead of reporting the incidents to police, the dioceses directed the offenders to seek psychiatric treatment, in Ireland children, parents, and others reported suspicions of abuse to police but investigations did not follow. Many cases were simply referred back to church authorities instead.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said that the report exposed "misguided or undue deference" shown by the police to religious institutions and said, "That has no place in criminal investigations, it certainly has no place in 2009 under my watch."

"This is not about failings or learning curves. This about the reckless endangerment of children in a calculated, purposeful strategy to protect the institutional Church," said the abuse charity One in Four in a press release.

The Murphy Report, which was redacted by Ireland's Supreme Court as several criminal cases are ongoing, concluded that there was little regard or concern for children who came into contact with clerical abusers, that known clerical abusers were moved to different areas and the recipient dioceses were not informed of their record, and that there was a failure to report allegations to the statutory services.

Garda Commissioner Murphy has apologized for the force's failure to protect victims of clerical child sexual abuse.

Prosecutions to follow

None of the officers named in the report are still working on the force. Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has warned that criminal investigations will follow the report, saying, "a collar will protect no criminal."

Mr. Ahern said that no one could expect to be above the law. "This is a Republic - the people are sovereign - and no institution, no agency, no church can be immune from that fact," he said at a press conference.

The state's past deference to the church has been condemned from legal quarters. Sean Corrigan, a barrister in Dublin, said the Dublin experience is in stark contrast to how the US authorities handled similar cases.

"There was too much support for the church within the Garda - these people have been a power unto themselves," he says. "There's more openness in America with regard to everything. We've never even had anyone convicted of white-collar crime in this country."

Irish legal provisions say the wheels of justice are turning, but that the process has been slow. "There are ongoing investigations but the process does seem to have caused a delay in initiating them," says Catherine O'Sullivan, who teaches criminal law at University College Cork. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Ireland Report into Abuse by Catholic Priests Finds Police Coverup
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.