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2015 National Board Review (Ireland) - Report and Statement

2015 National Board Review (Ireland) - Report and Statement

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Statement of Sr. Mary Brid Geraghty, Delegation Leader of the Disciples of the Divine Master in Ireland

"In January 2015 the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) was invited to conduct a review of our Safeguarding policies, procedures, and practices. On behalf of our Congregation, I thank the National Board for producing the review which is published today. It is another large stepping stone in this process of creating strong systems for child safeguarding in our Church and society.

What has happened in the past with regard to the abuse of children placed in the care of religious brothers and sisters can never and must never happen again. I acknowledge with sorrow the deep damage done to many victims whose lives have been irreparably destroyed and damaged by these abuses.

Traditionally our Congregation does not have and has not had direct ministry and contact with children. At the time of the report, we have and have never had any allegations against members, living or deceased. The review therefore is primarily based on policies and procedures made available plus interviews with key personnel involved in the safeguarding process within the Congregation, particularly in the services run by the Congregation.

The Review Board is satisfied that there are no concerns about practices in our Congregation. This said, our commitment to ensuring that our places of ministries are places of trust, welcome and respect for all people, including children, is paramount. As noted by the Report, this is reflected in the work that has been invested in written policies and procedures, ongoing training and continual improvement of practice. There can be no room for complacency and the Disciples of the Divine Master continue their commitment to ensuring that their standards are of the highest standard and up to date.

I encourage anyone who has yet to come forward to do so and report any relevant matters either to our Designated Liaison Person for Safeguarding Children, Sr. M. Louise O’ Rourke (085 1704963), and/or to the statutory authorities. Counselling help is also available at the dedicated helpline: Towards Healing – a counselling and support service for Survivors of clerical and religious Congregations’ abuse, which is totally independent although funded by the Catholic Church.

Contact details are:

Towards Healing - Click to visit the website: www.towardshealing.ie

Free phone 1800303416 (Republic of Ireland) Free phone 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland)

I am grateful to Teresa Devlin, CEO of the National Board, and the members of the National Board for their continued guidance, availability and on-going support during this Review. May it bring forth a new era of healing and new life for the Church and society in Ireland.

Sr. Mary Brid Geraghty, Delegation Superior