Garda Boss 'Deeply Sorry' Over Abuse Findings

The Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, has said he is "deeply sorry" for the Gardaí's failures to act on claims of abuse, revealed in the latest report on sexual abuse by Catholic Priests.

Commissioner Murphy said the report, released this afternoon made for "disturbing" reading, and apologised for failings by Gardaí in responding to claims of abuse by victims.

Mr Murphy said: "It makes for difficult and disturbing reading, detailing as it does many instances of sexual abuse and failure on the part of both Church and State authorities to protect victims.

"The commission has found that in some cases, because of acts or omissions, individuals who sought assistance did not always receive the level of response or protection which any citizen in trouble is entitled to expect from An Garda Síochána. I am deeply sorry that this occurred."

Mr Murphy also commented on allegations contained in the report that there were inappropriate contacts and relationships between Gardaí and the archdiocese of Dublin. "These contacts occurred at a time when a misguided or undue deference was often shown to religious institutions and figures by many in our society. Such deference can have no place in a criminal investigation," the Commissioner said.

The Commissioner went on to say the "ugly reality" was that there are still people in society who seek to hurt and abuse children.

"Protecting vulnerable children must always be a priority for us in An Garda Síochána and we will continue to work together with the HSE and other agencies to ensure children’s safety," he added.

The report, from the Commission of Investigation into Dublin's Catholic Archdiocese, has rocked the Church and the State by concluding there was "no doubt" clerical child sex abuse was covered up by the archdiocese and other Church authorities.

The report looked into the period between January 1 1975 and April 30 2004, and found that cover-ups took place over much of the period while claiming "the structures and rules of the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up".

The Commission received complaints, suspicions or knowledge of child sexual abuse in respect of 172 priests during its compilation, and accused the Dublin Archdioceses of having a pre-occupation, at least until the mid 1990s, with "the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets".

"All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities," the report said.


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