“AN AUDIT investigating up to 2000 allegations of clerical child sex abuse has discovered that 67 former Christian Brothers accused of abuse were “not traceable”.
The Audit of Religious Orders, Congregations and Missionary Societies Safeguarding Arrangements and Management of Allegations of Child Sex Abuse Volume II was published by the Tusla Child and Family Agencyyesterday.
The audit team established 1,882 allegations of child sex abuse via a questionnaire completed by all 135 religious orders.
Of those allegations, 57% related to living members and allegations of abuse in the country.
There were a total of 626 allegations regarding the Christian Brothers. Of those 626, some 67 members, against whom there were 177 allegations, were unable to be traced.
Having been notified of this lack of clarity, Tusla senior management stated that: “every effort should be made to identify the then current location of these former members”.
Furthermore, just 133 of those allegations were reported to Tusla in the period between April 2010 to January 2014.
The audit team noted that at the time, some accused clerics were visiting families with children.
They also urged Tulsa to liaise further with the congregation to ensure any potential child protection concerns were identified and managed.
Organisations such as the Christian Brothers, the De La Salle Brothers, and the Irish Norbertine Canonry were identified as having “significant safeguarding weaknesses”.
The report found 523 allegations of overall where the reporting duration could be categorised, from initial concern to being reported to civil authorities.
Just 19% of these allegations were promptly reported to civil authorities over three repowering periods since 1996.
The other 81% of claims were not reported with immediacy.
However, the report also showed that there was “significant progress” made by congregations in confronting the past and improving their handling of these issues. There has been a conscious effort by church bodies to adhere to child abuse management guidelines.
In order to ensure the consistency of a safeguarding framework, a national system of monitoring allegations notified to Tusla by religious orders, the Church, and the gardai is required.”