November 27, 2002
Need for National Inquiry into Sexual Abuse

One In Four welcomes Minister McDowell’s Dáil announcement of inquiry progress.

Director of One In Four, Colm O’Gorman today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement in the Dáil by the Minister for Justice, Micheal McDowell, of progress towards establishing an inquiry into sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Commenting on the outline details as announced, Mr. O’Gorman said: “the form of inquiry proposed by the Minister is, we believe, an appropriate format that could be used to establish the nature of the response of the Church and other agencies to complaints of sexual abuse.

“In recent years, the main focus of public concern has rightly been on abuse perpetrated by clergy, initially in Institutions and more recently by diocesan priests. The stark reality of sexual abuse in Ireland however is that 27% of Irish children will be sexually abused in childhood.”

The need for a wider inquiry

Commenting further, Mr. O’Gorman added: “ Welcome and necessary as both the Inquiry into Clerical Abuse in Ferns and the proposed inquiry into clerical abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese are, what has become even clearer is that there is a need for a wider national inquiry.


“Given that there are now likely to be future revelations that demand inquiry beyond Ferns and Dublin, it is no longer satisfactory that each new inquiry must be preceded by either media revelations or public outcry. It is time for a pro-active approach to what is now a widening national problem whose impact on Irish society is both profound and long-term.

“In recognising the need for a wider inquiry, One in Four is concerned to ensure that the mechanism chosen is adaptive enough to deal with cases yet to emerge and to the changing state of our knowledge of the problem. The prima facie evidence suggests that it is both complex and systemic. To this extent, the outline of Minister McDowell’s approach is a welcome development in progress towards a wider national inquiry.

“While the first field of examination in a national inquiry is likely to be clerical abuse, One in Four believes it is essential that a form of inquiry be adopted which will facilitate the examination of other vocational and professional fields where adults entrusted with the care of children and vulnerable adults have grossly abused that trust and where people with responsibility have failed to deal properly or adequately with that abuse. One In Four is seeking the establishment of a standing inquiry that will undertake such investigations as they emerge. “

Posted by Colm at November 27, 2002 05:22 PM
Comments

Well said, Colm.

Posted by: Liz on November 27, 2002 08:45 PM

i would also like to welcome the announcement in the Dáil by the Minister for Justice, Micheal McDowell, of progress towards establishing an inquiry into sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Indeed i also fully agree with Colm's comments and hope the Minister for Justice feels the same way. Here's hoping.

Well said Colm

Christy

Posted by: Christy on November 28, 2002 12:41 AM
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