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Irish Religious Order Apologises For Child Abuse

11th Dec 2007 | in Social Care

By Sky News SkyNews - Tuesday, December 11 04:56 pm

A religious order in Ireland has apologised for sexual and physical abuse inflicted on 21 former patients at a care centre in County Galway.

The apology follows the publication of a report which has taken eight years to prepare.

The report investigated allegations that children with physical and intellectual disabilities attending a residential centre run by the Brothers of Charity at Kilcornan, Co Galway, were sexually abused as far back as 1965.

Complaints were made against 11 brothers and four lay members of staff at the centre, on the outskirts of the village of Clarenbridge.

The report, which also dealt with allegations of abuse at a school run by the Brothers of Charity in Renmore in Galway city, confirmed that two individuals have already been convicted.

Eight of the accused are now deceased, while the remainder are no longer involved in childcare.

The report detailed a catalogue of abuse at the centre. In one instance, a pool cue was broken over the back of a boy who was accused of stealing altar wine.

The same boy claimed he was also struck with a plank of wood taken from a shelf by the same abuser.

Others told how they used to wrap themselves up tightly in their bed sheets at night, to prevent the adult members of staff from interfering with them.

The report gave details of fondling, progressing to more serious incidences of abuse such as buggery and rape.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive apologised for the length of time it has taken for the report to be published, and are pushing forward new mandatory procedures which if not adhered to will mean loss of funding.

The investigation was headed by Dr Kevin McCoy, a social care consultant who was formerly Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate in Northern Ireland.

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