Child Safeguarding Audit – Statement from Salesians of Don Bosco Ireland

Download and read NBSCCCI review of Child Safeguarding Practice


 

STATEMENT

by Salesians of Don Bosco, Ireland, in response to the Publication of a Review of their Safeguarding Practice by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI)

9 September 2015

Today, Wednesday 9 September 2015, the Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Salesian Congregation in Ireland is being published. We gladly welcome this full report which is available at www.salesiansireland.ie.

Our thoughts and concerns today are with all people who have been abused in any way by members of our Congregation here in Ireland or anyone affected. Such actions, crimes and sins are the antithesis of the spirit and vision of our founder, Don Bosco, who was committed to the total well-being of the young, especially the most vulnerable.

This Review was undertaken at the end of January 2015 by NBSCCCI. We have welcomed this independent Review, undertaken at our request, and were happy to cooperate fully with it. We consider this Review of vital assistance to us in ensuring that safeguarding standards of the highest level are in place now.

We thank the Board for their important and thorough work, and for conducting this Review of our practice, procedures and case-management. We accept and embrace fully all six recommendations made by the Board and we will implement them in their totality. These six recommendations (Appendix 1) will enhance and improve our procedures and our practices, and they are already in the process of being implemented.

The Review established that since 1975 to the present we received 11 allegations in regard to 9 of our members (one allegation was related to physical abuse, and four, following professional review, were considered false). At the time of the Review, four of the accused members were deceased. No member of the Salesian Congregation in Ireland has been convicted of child abuse.

We accept and acknowledge that in the past a small number of our members abused young people who had trusted them. This truth is for us a painful and shameful reality and we regret and apologise unreservedly to anyone who has been abused by a member of our Congregation in Ireland.

We commit ourselves to genuinely engaging and responding pastorally with those who have been victims and are survivors of this abuse. We are in no doubt about the lasting impact caused by any abuse, and we acknowledge the courage shown by those who have come forward to report what happened to them, and we thank them for their bravery. We promise to support anyone who discloses abuse of any kind to us and we are committed to their process of healing and to restorative justice. In this matter, we have developed a ‘mediation’ process which the Review has found to have had good outcomes in the past.

Once again we firmly commit ourselves to completely implement all the recommendations of the Review.

We wish to take this opportunity to invite anyone with any concern, or anyone who has been abused by any of our members, past or present, to bring it to our attention, and/or to the attention of the Gardai, PSNI, HSE, TUSLA.

Our Safeguarding Designated Person is Fr Martin Loftus, who can be contacted at 085 1111488.

We also invite persons who have been abused to consider contacting ‘Towards Healing’, which is a confidential support service:

website: www.towardshealing.ie
and freephone: 1800 303416 (Rep of Ireland) and 0800 0963315 (N. Ireland)

Also: ‘Towards Peace’:

website: www.towardspeace.ie
Phone: +353 (0) 1 5053028.
Mobile: 086 7710533
Email:
towardspeace@iecon.ie

Counselling Service One-in-Four:

website www.oneinfour.ie/contact
Phone: 01 6624070 Mon-Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm.
Email:
info@oneinfour.ie


 

Download and read our Statement in PDF