THE Bishop of Raphoe has asked gardai to investigate allegations of “collusion and cover-up” involving members of the Diocese made in a TG4 documentary on child sexual abuse which aired on Wednesday night.
Most Rev Bishop Alan McGuckian has also offered support to “anyone who carries the pain of abuse” and said the Diocese “will give full co-operation to any effort to cast as much light as possible on this sad and tragic part of our history”.
In a statement released on Friday morning, Bishop McGuckian stated: “The documentary on TG4 on Wednesday 30th October revisited the pain and tragedy of child sexual abuse committed by clergy and other in the Diocese of Raphoe.
“It has led me to recognise once again the horrific impact that abuse by clergy has had on so many innocent children and their families. What happened is a source of revulsion and shame for all associated with the Diocese. It reminded me that the betrayal of trust felt, especially by the victims, but also by many others is so serious as to be almost irreparable.”
The statement continued: “I have a sense that many people in the Diocese suffer in silence with the burden of what happened to them or to people they love. I know also that many people want nothing to do with the Church or the Diocese. However, if it would be a support to anyone to contact us, I invite anyone who carries the pain of abuse to come forward and speak either to myself or the Designated Liaison Person. The number for the Designated Liaison Person, Margaret Northage, is 086 218 3011.
“In the documentary there were allegations of collusion and cover-up involving members of the Diocese both living and dead. I immediately contacted the Gardai asking them to investigate these allegations and will meet with them in the near future and offer them every possible co-operation in any investigation to ascertain the truth.
“In the documentary, mention was made of a ‘Forensic Cold Case Investigation’. The Diocese supports and will give full co-operation to any effort to cast as much light as possible on this sad and tragic part of our history as a Diocese and county. The form of any investigation will be a matter for the statutory authorities. However, any information which the Diocese of Raphoe holds in relation to the abuse of children is completely available to the Gardai and the Diocese is ready at all times to co-operate fully with any enquiries.”
Posted: 11:23 am November 1, 2019