Neary ‘ashamed’ at report’s contents

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Neary ‘ashamed’ at report’s contents

PATSY McGARRY

ARCHBISHOP APOLOGISES: THE ARCHBISHOP of Tuam, Most Rev Michael Neary, has said he is “ashamed’’ by revelations in the child abuse report. It made for “sad and disturbing reading’’.

“The abuse, suffering and harm caused to so many young children in religious-run institutions is a source of deep regret and disgrace. It is most disturbing to hear the stories of personal pain and the indignity inflicted on the most vulnerable children in our society.’’

He apologised “unreservedly’’ on behalf of the church “for our failure to protect children’’.

He did so particularly as Archbishop of Tuam.

“I am particularly ashamed of the abuse that occurred in Letterfrack and Clifden. I ask forgiveness of those who suffered. Abuse of children when perpetrated by a priest or religious is both a terrible crime and a betrayal of sacred trust.’’

He felt it was “good that this report offers the opportunity to many to have their story heard and believed. In this way I hope and pray that healing may come about.’’

It was also “absolutely necessary” that the report’s recommendations be implemented.

“Appropriate structures and resources need to be put in place to ensure the safeguarding of children, and we must always be vigilant in this regard.’’

He also urged anyone who may have concerns about the safety of children “to contact the relevant authorities without delay’’.

Meanwhile, Sr Mary Christian, superior general of the Sisters of Charity, welcomed the report on her congregation’s part.

“We repeat that we are absolutely and deeply sorry that children in our care were abused in any way.

“Nothing we say can make up to them for the pain and hurt they experienced.

“We also acknowledge the staff, volunteers and sisters who did their very best to provide a caring and nurturing environment for the children under very difficult circumstances.”

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

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