COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION -- REPORT INTO THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBLIN
Chapter 41 Fr Francis McCarthy
41.1 In December 1993, Fr Francis McCarthy sent a Christmas card to a young man whom he had abused when that man was 11 years old and when Fr McCarthy was attached to Dunlavin parish. He asked the young man to contact him to talk about old times. This was followed up by a letter from Fr McCarthy, explaining that he hoped to begin a new life on the missions in South America. He also made a number of follow up calls.
41.2 Contact was made between Fr McCarthy and the young man and a meeting took place at the priest‟s home. The young man revealed that he was now on the dole, that he was separated from his wife and that he did not have any prospects of work. He did intend trying to start a business. The young man asked for a loan of £10,000 to help get him started in his new business. Fr McCarthy replied that he could only raise £5,000 and that he would give it to him as a gift.
41.3 Over the next few months, the young man received a total of £12,000 from Fr McCarthy and reached an agreement that Fr McCarthy would pay an annual sum towards the upkeep of his children.
41.4 In the meantime, the young man had told his wife about the fact that he had been sexually abused by Fr McCarthy. She was adamant that he should report the matter to the appropriate authorities as she was worried that the priest might pose a threat to children on the missions.
41.5 The young man was not anxious to report the matter. He felt he had taken money from the priest on the basis that the matter was at an end.
41.6 In October 1995, following a visit to the Rape Crisis Centre, he did report the matter to the Gardaí and also to the health board. He said he had been advised by the Rape Crisis Centre that he had suffered more damage than he had at first thought.
41.7 On 1 November 1995, the Gardaí interviewed Fr McCarthy at his home and during the course of that interview he admitted sexually abusing the complainant in the 1970s.
Fr McCarthy’s background
41.8 Fr McCarthy was born in 1950. He was ordained in 1974. The assessment of him was that he would not be suitable for a teaching post. Following his ordination he was appointed a curate in Dunlavin parish. In 1979, he moved to Enniskerry parish as a curate, where he stayed until 1985. He was then transferred to London to serve as a chaplain to the Irish emigrant community in London. From 1986 to 1994, he was a curate in Ballyfermot parish and in 1994, he was appointed a curate in Howth.
Links with children’s homes
41.9 One of Fr McCarthy‟s classmates during the course of his studies in Clonliffe was Fr Bill Carney (see Chapter 28). As students they visited a number of children‟s homes. The Commission has evidence that Fr McCarthy visited St Joseph‟s, Tivoli Road, Dun Laoghaire and St Vincent‟s, Drogheda, Co Louth.
41.10 According to a statement received from the current superior on behalf of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary who ran St Joseph‟s, their visits began in 1973 when they were deacons. She said they approached the home and asked if they could help the children by engaging in activities with them. She said their offer was accepted as they came from Clonliffe College which was highly respected. She said they were in the final stage of preparation for the priesthood and they had skills from which the children would benefit, for example, sport, art and drama. They also helped with homework.
41.11 By the time they were ordained there were strong bonds between the two priests and the groups of children they visited. The children were allowed to visit Fr McCarthy‟s home and to go on holiday with him, sometimes accompanied by a member of the religious orders who ran the homes, and sometimes not. The Commission is aware of complaints from a number of former residents in those homes who alleged sexual abuse by Fr Bill Carney and Fr McCarthy during the course of those visits. Fr McCarthy was later convicted of abusing a child in one of those homes (see below). The Commission believes that, from their student days, both Fr McCarthy and Fr Carney used their positions as seminarians to target these institutions which they knew housed vulnerable children.
The handling of the Dunlavin victim’s complaint
41.12 It is doubtful if the abuse by Fr McCarthy would have become known prior to his getting a transfer to South America had he not made contact with one of those whom he had abused, which led to that person going to the Gardaí and to the health board as described above.
41.14 The young man who alleged he was abused by Fr McCarthy in Dunlavin told the Gardaí that, on the first occasion in 1974 that he could remember being abused, he was in the sitting room in Fr McCarthy‟s house. The priest asked him to sit on his knee; he was about ten years old at the time. He sat on his knee and he remembered the priest kissing him and putting his tongue into his mouth. He said he was brought up to his bedroom and he remembered the priest performing oral sex on him on this occasion. The sexual abuse lasted between ten and 20 minutes on each occasion and the incidents continued over the period 1974 to 1977 on Friday and Sunday evenings of each week. He told the Gardaí that Fr McCarthy had attempted to penetrate him anally but he did not ejaculate.
41.15 This complainant also alleged abuse by Fr Bill Carney. He said that Fr Carney used to visit Fr McCarthy in Dunlavin between 1974 and 1977 and that he and a friend from the area were invited to stay for a weekend at Fr Carney‟s house in Ballyfermot. Again the abuse took the form of an attempt by Fr Carney to penetrate him anally while he was sleeping in the bed with him.
41.16 He told Gardaí that Fr Carney and Fr McCarthy took a group of boys to Kerry for ten days and on one of those days Fr Carney fondled his penis with his hand but no other abuse took place. He said that no physical force was used by either priest on him to engage in these sexual acts.
41.17 He also recounted how he had obtained money from Fr McCarthy and how his wife wished him to report Fr McCarthy to “head office” but that he had told the priest that he would not do that. He gave the Gardaí a copy of two letters and a card that he had received from Fr McCarthy.
Garda interview with Fr McCarthy
41.18 In his interview with the Gardaí, Fr McCarthy admitted that he masturbated and kissed the complainant on a number of occasions. He denied any attempted buggery or oral sex and stated that it was his recollection that the incidents continued over a period of two years and not any longer. He said the abuse only occurred on Fridays.
41.19 He said that it was quite likely that he introduced the complainant to Fr Bill Carney. He accepted that he and Fr Carney took two groups of altar boys to Tralee for a week‟s holiday, but he said he was unaware of anything happening to the boys during that period.
41.20 He acknowledged that he had given a cheque for £5,000 to the complainant. He said that initially it was to be a loan and then he told him he could keep it as a gift. He also admitted he had given further payments to him and said that he felt he was being blackmailed by him.
Interview with Monsignor Stenson
41.21 Within 24 hours of his interview with the Gardaí, Fr McCarthy contacted Monsignor Stenson. Monsignor Stenson saw him immediately, on 2 November 1995.
41.22 Fr McCarthy recounted his interview with the Gardaí in relation to the complainant and stated that what he had told the Gardaí was true. He said the abuse had occurred between 1975 and 1979.
41.23 He also told Monsignor Stenson that, in or around 1986, he had been involved with another boy who was aged 12 and that there was inappropriate touching. He said that there was nudity involved but no buggery. He said that he had been involved in some horseplay with an 11-year-old boy in Ballyfermot in or around the same time. He also admitted touching an 11- year-old boy inappropriately in St Joseph‟s, Tivoli Road, around 1979/80.
41.24 He told Monsignor Stenson that in 1994 he had been visited by two children whose mother he had assisted because she was a single parent. He said that these two children were fearful of sleeping on their own and they joined him in his bed. He said he left to go to another room but they came to him again and he dozed off and when he woke up he found his hand between the legs of the young girl. She was aged 11 at the time.
Leave of absence
41.25 On the same day, 2 November 1995, Fr McCarthy applied to Archbishop Connell for a leave of absence, saying that Monsignor Stenson would explain why. On that day also, Archbishop Connell issued a decree initiating a preliminary investigation in respect of Fr McCarthy.
41.26 At this stage (early November 1995), the only complaint known to the Gardaí was that of the Dunlavin victim. Following the interview with Monsignor Stenson it was clear that Fr McCarthy had admitted to other sexual assaults. These were notified to the Gardaí by the Archdiocese and they were followed up by the Gardaí.
41.27 The mother of the boy and girl who had stayed over with Fr McCarthy the previous year was interviewed and she was of the view that nothing untoward had happened and that her daughter remembered nothing. Gardaí arranged for the two children to be interviewed and both said that they had not been sexually assaulted by Fr McCarthy.
41.28 Contact was made with another young man, in the USA, and he too said that he had no complaint against Fr McCarthy and that he had not been assaulted when he was 11 years old.
41.29 Contact was made with the former resident of St Joseph‟s and he did say that he had been assaulted by Fr McCarthy. He gave a detailed statement to Gardaí. He told Gardaí that there were three priests who used to visit St. Joseph‟s and they seemed to know each other, but the one that was there the most was “Fr Francis”. He told the Gardaí that Fr McCarthy used to come in and tell them stories at night but he often told the stories from beside his bed. While telling the story out loud he would feel the boy‟s penis and his testicles.
41.30 He said that he was brought away on weekends with a number of other boys. During some of those visits he slept with Fr McCarthy and they French-kissed.
41.31 He said he also had been brought to Kerry but he had resisted any attempt by the priest to sleep with him or to interfere with him.
41.32 He said that he had spoken to the person in charge at the home and told her about the assaults but not in detail. He said that after that Fr McCarthy was gone and they never saw him or were taken out by him again.
Statement from St Joseph’s
41.33 The nun who was in charge of the group of children that included the complainant from St Joseph‟s was interviewed by the Gardaí but she asked to reserve her position. She then gave a prepared statement in which she denied that the complainant had reported any alleged abuse to her. In a statement to the Commission, the current superior of the congregation said that :
“At some stage between 1975 and 1979 after a weekend visit to Fr. McCarthy‟s house a boy resident came back in a distressed state. The Sister in charge of this boy‟s group noticed this and spoke to the boy in question. He told her that while he was in bed he had been touched on the penis by Fr. Frank McCarthy and that he did not like it, hence the reason for his distress. The Sister discussed what had happened with the boy and ascertained that the boy had ended up sharing a bed with Fr. McCarthy. The Sister understood that the incident had occurred inadvertently during the night. She considered the matter to have arisen as a result of inadequate accommodation in Fr. McCarthy‟s house. However, she was concerned for the boy and spoke to Fr. McCarthy. She related the boy‟s distress to him. She suggested that the boys would not go out for weekend visits thereafter but that Fr. McCarthy could visit them in the home in Tivoli Road. At that stage, child abuse was not something within the awareness of the Sister in question and she did not appreciate the potential significance of what had been disclosed to her”. The nun said that she told no one at the time.
Meeting at Eastern Health Board offices
41.34 In addition to notifying the Gardaí, the Archdiocese also notified the Eastern Health Board. A meeting was convened for 6 November 1995 under the auspices of the Eastern Health Board. Those present included health board officials from the different areas where Fr McCarthy had served, the parish priests from those areas, the Gardaí, Monsignor Stenson, his assistant chancellor, Fr Dolan, and the archdiocesan solicitor. Information in regard to suspected victims was shared at the meeting and telephone numbers exchanged. A plan was drawn up to support any suspected victims and arrangements were made to offer counselling if it was required. The parish priests attending indicated that they would be making a statement to parishioners the following day. The text of one of those statements is as follows:
“Parish of St. Nicholas of Myra, Dunlavin Statement – November 7th 1995 I am sorry to have to tell you today that a complaint alleging child sexual abuse has been made to the Garda Siochana by a person who is now an adult against Fr Frank McCarthy who worked in this parish from 1974 to 1979. The Gardaí are investigating this complaint. Fr McCarthy has sought leave of absence from the parish of Howth where he has been stationed for just over a year and the Archbishop granted this with immediate effect.
I am sure this is as much of a shock to you as it is to me. I knew absolutely nothing about it until yesterday and the Archbishop heard of it on Thursday last. He has asked me to tell you of his personal concern and to assure you of his support. Along with Bishop Eamonn Walsh, the area Bishop, he will be keeping in close touch with us here. I will be available, and will try to respond to your concerns and questions. This is a difficult time for our parish and we need one another‟s support. Let us pray for each other. Let us also pray for the person who made the complaint and for Fr McCarthy both of whom must be under great stress at this time. I am leaving copies of this statement in the church and we are anxious that all parishioners be informed.”
41.35 These statements were widely covered in the media. The publication of this statement by the four parish priests provoked outrage from the former chancellor and then judicial vicar, Monsignor Gerard Sheehy, who expressed his feelings in a comprehensive letter to Archbishop Connell:
“As a starting-point, I refer to the recent public naming of Father Frank McCarthy of Howth. I have never met this priest, and I know nothing whatever about him or any of his activities. My very serious concern is this. He has now, at the Church‟s instigation, been named in the public media as a priest against whom an allegation of paedophile activity (a number of years back, it would appear) has been made. I can find no evidence of any formal charge having been laid against him, either in the ecclesiastical or in the civil forum. I have been told that this matter was first raised by the Gardaí; I do not know how far their investigations have gone. But I can find no evidence of any serious enquiry being made in the ecclesiastical forum – save only an obviously-leaked remark in the newspapers about some fairly-recent meeting at Archbishop‟s House involving the parish priests of those parishes in which he served before coming to Howth- itself, if it happened, an invasion of his good name as a priest, to the total disregard of the relevant canons of the Code. Yet, precisely and solely in the light of these facts, he has been publicly removed from ministering in the parish of Howth. The inevitable result, particularly in the current climate, is that his good name as a priest has been invaded and seriously damaged, probably irreparably”.
41.36 As in the Ivan Payne case (See Chapter 24) Monsignor Sheehy displayed little or no empathy or concern for the victims even where there was an admission by the priest that he had abused a number of children.
41.37 As Fr McCarthy had been a chaplain to a school at the time of the revelations, the Department of Education sought information from the Archdiocese about any other school appointments. These were investigated and no complaints emerged.
41.38 In March 1997, Fr McCarthy pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the young boy from the orphanage and the young victim from Dunlavin. That victim asked that he not be sent to jail. He received a suspended sentence in July 1997.
Attendance at Granada Institute
41.39 Fr McCarthy was referred to the Granada Institute in November 1995. He received over 100 hours of therapy. In a 1999 report, Granada expressed the view that he posed little risk of abusing children. While acknowledging that he was at a low risk of re-offending, Granada nevertheless recommended that he should not work with children or be appointed to positions which would bring him into contact with children. It was also pointed out by Granada to Monsignor Dolan that it “is the practice that while men are in Core Treatment, they do not engage in ministry”.
41.40 Initially, Fr McCarthy indicated that he would apply for laicisation but, as time progressed and particularly when the court case concluded and resulted in a suspended rather than a custodial sentence, he sought permission to resume saying mass. He was allowed say it in a convent in Dublin.
41.41 Fr McCarthy featured on the Prime Time programme Cardinal Secrets. This led to some annoyance among the nuns in the convent where he had been given the facility to say mass. Many of them had no knowledge of his past and wanted him removed because their convent was associated with two schools. The Archdiocese had in fact informed the convent superior and had understood that his presence there was by agreement.
41.42 The Archdiocese did try to accommodate him with various administrative jobs but none proved very successful from an Archdiocesan point of view. In November 2004 Fr McCarthy petitioned the Pope to allow him to be laicised and this was granted in November 2005. Up until his laicisation he was supported from the Clerical Fund Society.
The Commission’s assessment
41.43 This case provides a good example of a case which the Archdiocese, the health board, the Granada Institute, the Gardaí and the Department of Education handled the various complaints well. It must be acknowledged that the Dunlavin complainant went to the Gardaí rather than to the Church authorities in the first instance. The first complaint was made towards the end of 1995. This was the time when the Archdiocese had decided to refer all allegations to the Gardaí and the health board and the Framework Document procedures were being introduced.
42.1 Fr Sergius ministered in the Archdiocese in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He is now retired. There have been numerous complaints lodged with the Archdiocese about him. These include complaints of child sexual abuse, sexual violence and physical and emotional abuse of minors.
42.2 In 1993, the Archdiocese received a complaint that Fr Sergius had been violent towards an adult woman and threatened her with rape. This was investigated by the Archdiocese. It emerged that he and the woman had had a sexual relationship in the late 1980s. She alleged that he had become abusive and threatening towards her after the relationship ended. He told the Archdiocese that he was now committed to the priesthood and that he did not need help or treatment.
42.3 The first complaint of sexually abusive behaviour towards a minor was made to the Gardaí in October 1995. A 17-year-old girl and a 15- year-old girl who were working in a restaurant alleged that Fr Sergius had sexually harassed them in the restaurant. They said he had touched their legs and abused them as they walked by.
42.4 Fr Sergius denied any wrongdoing. Witnesses were interviewed. No witness observed any communication, either physical or verbal “which could be of assistance in sustaining a prosecution”. However, another waitress said that she saw Fr Sergius attempt to put his hand on one of the girl‟s hips but the advance was sidestepped. Another waitress told Gardaí that he had touched her on the legs but she had not reported the behaviour.
42.5 In December 1995, the Gardaí brought the allegations to the attention of the Archdiocese. The Gardaí told Monsignor Stenson that a file was going to the DPP. Monsignor Stenson was anxious not to interfere with the legal process and did not interview the witnesses. He did speak to Fr Sergius who denied the allegations and claimed that he had witnesses to prove his innocence.
42.6 In April 1996, the DPP decided not to prosecute because the allegations were in the nature of sexual harassment rather than assault and, while the touching was inappropriate, it was not criminal in nature.
42.7 In December 1996, a complaint was made to the Archdiocese about Fr Sergius‟s behaviour. It was alleged that, at a party in a parishioner‟s house, he had been drunk, used offensive language and made racist remarks to some foreign guests. He then began telephoning the parishioner‟s wife and pestering her. At a subsequent gathering, it was alleged that he was again drunk and that he became aggressive and insulting. It was alleged that he kissed a woman and pulled a young girl down on the couch to talk to him. The girl “broke away from him in floods of tears”.
42.8 This complaint was relayed to the Archdiocese by the parish priest. The parish priest confirmed that there were other complaints about Fr Sergius‟s general behaviour. Bishop Ó Ceallaigh met the parish priest and then met Fr Sergius. The bishop had not been informed of previous incidents known to the Archdiocese – he was not aware of the violent nature of the relationship with the woman nor was he aware that the waitresses who were sexually harassed were minors. The bishop advised Fr Sergius to get help with his alcohol problem and offered to put him in touch with relevant professionals. Bishop Ó Ceallaigh had no further involvement with the case after this meeting. A further complaint was made in May 1997 which was similar to the December 1996 complaint.
42.9 Fr Sergius applied for sabbatical leave in 1997 to go to a foreign diocese for two years. He was told that the Archdiocese would have to inform the foreign diocese about the complaints which had been made and the concerns which had been expressed. Archbishop Connell met Fr Sergius and told him that he would be welcome back in the Archdiocese after his two years abroad. Archbishop Connell wrote to the bishop of the foreign diocese saying that Fr Sergius was “a priest in good standing” but added the following reservations:
He could be aggressive in his use of language, especially if he has taken alcohol.
He had had a three year involvement with a woman; this had been “dealt with and is now regarded as a thing of the past”.
He had been accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a waitress in a restaurant. The “public authority did not pursue the matter. Whatever may have happened would have been an isolated incident under the influence of alcohol”.
The Archbishop expressed the view that Fr Sergius would act responsibly but undertook to take him back immediately if this was requested. The violent nature of his relationship with the woman and the more recent general complaints were not mentioned in the letter.
42.10 A standard contract was signed between the Archdiocese, the foreign diocese and Fr Sergius. The sabbatical leave was to run from September 1997 to September 1999. However, Fr Sergius returned home after just nine months. The Archdiocesan records do not show the reason for his early return. He was appointed to a parish in August 1998. It later became clear that the parish priest was not told of the problems which Fr Sergius had had in the past nor was his area bishop, Bishop Field.
42.11 In February 1999, the principal and teachers of a school in Fr Sergius‟s new parish complained to the parish priest about his conduct at a meeting of the confirmation class. The parents alleged that Fr Sergius arrived late, smelled strongly of alcohol and was truculent in his demeanour. A meeting was held involving the board of management, the principal and class teacher and the parish priest. The parish priest expressed surprise that Fr Sergius had been appointed as chaplain to the school. This seems to the Commission to be an extraordinary statement. As the Archbishop is the patron of the school, the appointment of chaplain is delegated to the parish priest, so the parish priest must himself have asked Fr Sergius to deal with the confirmation class.
42.12 The parish priest expressed reluctance to speak to Fr Sergius because “he has a short fuse”. The board of management then asked to see the head of the Education Secretariat in the Archdiocese and Bishop Field was informed. Bishop Field told the Commission that he had not been aware of the various other complaints about Fr Sergius. He thought he was dealing with a priest whose problems were entirely related to alcohol. Bishop Field tried to get Fr Sergius to address the alcohol problem but Fr Sergius has always asserted that he does not have a problem with alcohol. Bishop Field told the Commission that he had no power to oblige Fr Sergius to get help or treatment for his alcohol problem, about which he was clearly in denial.
42.13 In November 1999, another complaint was made about drunken and inappropriate behaviour on the part of Fr Sergius. In September 2001, a woman complained that she was sexually harassed by him. He was drunk at the time.
Physical abuse of altar boys
42.14 In April 2002, the parents of three altar boys complained that the boys had been physically and verbally abused by Fr Sergius. The parents demanded that he be removed from any situation at parish level. The delegate, Fr Gleeson, met the parents immediately. He concluded that the priest was no longer to be considered safe around children. He considered the matter to be serious enough to merit Fr Sergius‟s removal from ministry and to have his alcohol and behavioural problems professionally assessed. He noted that the problems with Fr Sergius were “of long standing”.
42.15 Fr Sergius was asked to step aside from ministry. He was told that the decision would be reviewed pending treatment for his alcohol problems. Archbishop Connell sent a letter confirming the decision and asking him to seek “appropriate professional assistance” as the Archbishop would not be prepared to reinstate him without a positive medical report. The parents were informed.
42.16 Bishop Field recommended and organised treatment for Fr Sergius with the Granada Institute in May 2002. However, in June 2002, Fr Sergius informed Bishop Field that he would no longer be attending the institute and would instead be following legal advice on the matter. This was followed by a solicitor‟s letter to the Archdiocese in July 2002 requesting copies of all documents relating to allegations and investigations of the Archdiocese.
42.17 Fr Sergius had written to Archbishop Connell in late May 2002 reaffirming his innocence and expressing his intention to retire from the diocese with adequate financial compensation. However, he was not prepared to resign his priestly ministry. In July, Fr Sergius accused Archbishop Connell of imposing a severe, extreme and unjust suspension from ministry. Archbishop Connell immediately responded explaining that, once he had a report from Granada, he would be in a position to discuss the future. The report from Granada in July 2002 concluded that Fr Sergius‟s behaviour must be taken seriously as there were indicators that he was getting into serious difficulty. Furthermore, because he was not willing to attend for additional sessions with Granada, it was concluded that the problems and complaints were likely to continue. Fr Sergius would need to gain much deeper insight into his behaviour before he could return to ministry. Fr Sergius believed the findings of the report were invalid and that fault for the entire process was with the Archdiocese.
42.18 In September 2002, Archbishop Connell again reiterated that there would be no return to ministry unless there was a positive report from Granada. This time, Fr Sergius did return to Granada. A residential course to deal with his alcohol problem was recommended by Granada but Fr Sergius refused to attend. He said he intended to retire from the diocese. He was officially released from his duties in October 2002 and became a beneficiary of the Clerical Fund Society (see Chapter 8). The Archdiocese provided him with a house.
42.19 Fr Sergius remains very disaffected with the Archdiocese even though it has been generous to him. He still wants to engage in ministry in Dublin. It appears that he sometimes helps out in another diocese. Bishop Field was aware of this and explained that, as Fr Sergius was retired from the Dublin Archdiocese, he was in fact free to help wherever he wished; he was not under any ministerial restriction. The Commission does not know if this other diocese has been informed of his situation.
The Commission’s assessment
42.20 It may be the case that Fr Sergius‟s primary problem is one of excessive alcohol consumption. However, any priest who behaves in a sexually inappropriate way with minors, even if it happens only when he is drunk, should be treated in accordance with the guidelines on child sexual abuse. Fr Sergius should have been removed from ministry after the complaints from the young girls in the restaurant. He should not be allowed to minister until he deals with his alcohol problem. Retirement is not a substitute for removal from ministry.
42.21 His propensity to be sexually abusive was known to the Archdiocese so it should have been very concerned indeed about the complaints of the young girls. Bishop Ó Ceallaigh should have been informed of the full range of complaints against Fr Sergius when he was dealing with the December 1996 complaint.
42.22 His problems should have been made known to his parish priest and area bishop in 1998 and he should not have been allowed involvement with the confirmation class.
42.23 The Gardaí dealt appropriately with this case and there was no involvement by the health board.
43.1 Fr Dante was born in 1946 in the UK and ordained in 1973. He held various appointments throughout the Dublin Archdiocese as chaplain and curate. He suffered from stress related problems and was not always active in his roles. He retired from the Archdiocese in March 2005 on the grounds of ill health. He returned to live in his family home in the UK.
43.2 Four complaints against Fr Dante are known to the Commission. Three of the allegations relate to a trip to France for altar boys in 1985 which was chaperoned by Fr Dante. The fourth is unrelated to the trip. Fr Dante has always strenuously denied the allegations made against him.
First Allegation, 1995
43.3 There are three complaints or expressions of concern in relation to a trip to France by altar boys from the parish in which Fr Dante was a curate in 1985. The first was made in December 1995 and was more of an expression of concern than a complaint or allegation. A boy who had been on this trip told the Archdiocese that, beforehand, he and another senior altar boy would spend time in Fr Dante‟s house organising the trip and Fr Dante would have them sit on his knee. The former altar boy was also concerned about some of the more unusual rules of the trip. One rule was that underwear could not be worn when the altar boys reached the continent, that all boys were to sleep naked and that the bathroom door was to be left open when showering so Fr Dante could “check”‟ on the boys. Punishment was to be smacking on the bare bottom. The former altar boy stated that he was once punished in this way and “something about it didn‟t feel quite right”.
43.4 Monsignor Dolan visited this former altar boy and spoke to him and to his father. It emerged that another parent had expressed concerns about Fr Dante‟s behaviour. The former altar boy also told Monsignor Dolan that the boys had to undress in front of Fr Dante at night and that a different boy had to sleep in the same bed as Fr Dante each night due to a shortage of beds. This was also allegedly used as a form of punishment.
43.5 In March 1997, Archbishop Connell asked Bishop Eamonn Walsh to speak to Fr Dante about this expression of concern. Fr Dante denied the allegations, saying that there may have been threats made about punishment but nothing of an untoward nature occurred. Bishop Walsh concluded that the alleged incidents could be viewed as in the nature of strict discipline or containing some sort of gratification. It was seen as inappropriate behaviour rather than child sexual abuse. Monsignor Dolan interviewed Fr Dante about the specific aspects of the altar boy‟s statement. Fr Dante first denied having the boys sit on his knee, making the boys sleep naked or punishing on the bare bottom. However, over the course of the meeting, his account changed somewhat. He said the boys did not wear underwear in order to prevent their clothes getting wet during the day. The confined space meant clothes were hung on the bathroom door, therefore the door was left open during showering to prevent the clothes getting wet. He claimed there was always another boy present when this occurred. He conceded that he was very focused on disciplining the boys. As it was often difficult to catch them, he admitted that he may have slapped them as they ran from the shower but he could not remember doing so.
43.6 Monsignor Dolan believed these to be reasonable explanations. He noted that a print-out of the rules of the trip did not correspond to the altar boy‟s description of the rules. However, he was concerned that Fr Dante had given an altered account of his approach to discipline as their meeting progressed and there were, at this stage, two independent allegations of sitting on the priest‟s knee (the second one is the second allegation described below). Monsignor Dolan concluded that the case did not pass the threshold of suspicion of child sexual abuse but he suggested, among other things, that an assessment would be appropriate.
43.7 Shortly after the meeting, it was confirmed to Monsignor Dolan that Fr Dante would be attending the Granada Institute. Fr Dante believed this would be better for him and the diocese as it would help him cope with his stress problems. He was treated in Granada for the following seven months. A psychological report issued in August 1998 stated that, while Fr Dante suffered from stress and was pre-disposed to depressive moods, there was “no evidence to suggest that [Fr Dante] is erotically attracted to children”.
The report concluded however that it would be prudent for him not to minister to children given the nature of the allegations. Fr Dante was allowed to return to ministry and was appointed curate in another parish from 1 September 1999. He did not take up the appointment due to “severe stress”. He was receiving medical attention for his health problems and was living in diocesan accommodation. He was appointed a parish chaplain and chaplain to a hospital in July 2000. It seems that he actually carried out relatively little pastoral work in the parish because of his health problems; he did most of his work in the hospital.
43.8 Meanwhile, a second allegation was made which was unrelated to the trip to France. In 1996, a woman informed Monsignor Dolan that there had been an incident with her son and Fr Dante when her son was ten years old. She alleged that approximately five years previously Fr Dante had invited her son over to his house to learn about computers. On his second visit, Fr Dante allegedly invited the boy to sit on his knee. The boy refused and there was no further contact between the pair. The mother was adamant that the matter be kept in the strictest of confidence; she did not want her son to be questioned. The Archdiocese put this allegation to Fr Dante as part of its broader investigation. He expressed surprise that he had not been informed of the allegation sooner.
43.9 In late 2002, a third allegation, which was the second one concerning the trip to France in 1985, emerged. At some stage in 2002, a mother had spoken to a curate in her parish about incidents with her son during the trip to France in 1985. These were similar to those already reported. In December 2002, the allegations were brought to the attention of the parish priest who immediately contacted Fr Paddy Gleeson, one of the delegates at the time. Fr Gleeson met the curate and it emerged that this mother had brought her allegations to the attention of another priest approximately four years previously, in 1998. However, at that time she had requested that the matter stay confidential and so the Archdiocese had not been made aware of her complaint. The other priest confirmed that she had brought the matter to his attention. The curate had offered her the Faoiseamh helpline number and she in turn gave this to her son.
43.10 Fr Gleeson met the mother in January 2003. She alleged that, even before the trip to France, concerns had been voiced among the parents about Fr Dante‟s behaviour around children. She made the same allegations regarding the rules of the trip as were made in the first allegation but also spoke of one specific incident when Fr Dante had allegedly been aroused while disciplining her son. She claimed that all the boys ceased being altar servers after the trip. Her son was interviewed the following day. He reiterated his mother‟s allegation and added some further information. He, like the second complainant, claimed that he would be invited to sit on Fr Dante‟s knee when using the computer. On these occasions, Fr Dante‟s hands would be “all over the place”. He alleged that, even before the trip to France, Fr Dante would be around the boys at football training watching them undress and checking if they were wearing underwear by pulling down the front of their shorts. He said the boys were aware of Fr Dante‟s habits before going to France but they really wanted to go on the trip.
43.11 In January 2003, while the third allegation was being investigated, the parish priest spoke to the father of another altar boy. The father asked his son if he had seen anything on the trip to France. His son alleged that the boys had slept two to a bed and were made to sleep naked. He further alleged that Fr Dante had always slept with one of the boys. On a separate occasion when this boy was staying with Fr Dante, he had to undress in his presence. This was not investigated as a separate allegation by the Archdiocese as no formal complaint was made but it did strengthen the credibility of the other complainants.
The garda investigation
43.12 The Archdiocese informed the Gardaí of the third allegation in January 2003. In a follow-up letter Fr Gleeson asked, at the request of Cardinal Connell, that the Gardaí not contact Fr Dante until the diocese had informed him of the new complaint as the Cardinal was concerned about his unstable health. The Gardaí were also told of the other allegations/expressions of concern in relation to the trip to France.
43.13 The Gardaí began their investigation as soon as Fr Dante had been informed of the new complaint. They notified the HSE of suspected child sexual abuse in early March 2003. They interviewed the third complainant in April 2003 but he refused to sign his statement saying that he did not want to pursue the matter; he merely wanted to bring it to the attention of the Gardaí. His mother was also interviewed. In addition to what she had told Fr Gleeson, she informed Gardaí that, before the trip, Fr Dante had called to the house with a list of rules saying that he would collect the boys‟ clothes at night to prevent them getting out and that he had the right to punish the boys and hold their pocket money. In May 2004, the Gardaí concluded that no criminal offence had been disclosed as the third complainant would not make a formal complaint. However, the Gardaí did express concern at the inappropriate behaviour and this was notified to the health board. The Child Protection Service of the Archdiocese was informed of the outcome of the garda investigation and the conclusion was that child protection concerns should remain.
The Archdiocese’s response
43.14 Fr Dante‟s case was considered at a meeting in Archbishop‟s House in January 2003. The following day, Fr Dante was again interviewed. He now said that printed rules were given to all parents before the trip and that one boy had an accident on the trip and spent the night sleeping on the floor beside his bed as he needed to be monitored. He categorically denied the allegations of the third complainant and suggested that he and the boy had had a run-in which resulted in the boy being expelled from school.
43.15 Fr Dante was asked to step aside from ministry and he agreed to do this. He was also advised to seek legal advice. The case was referred to the advisory panel. The panel agreed that the correct procedures were being followed and it recommended that the hospital at which Fr Dante had been a chaplain should be informed. It was decided that the diocese should conduct its own investigation and, in this respect, the parish priest of his current parish should make discreet inquiries as to any further allegations. Those who had raised expressions of concern were to be informed that a formal complaint had been made. These recommendations were immediately acted upon. The health board and the hospital were informed.
43.16 Fr Dante began attending treatment sessions at the Granada Institute in March 2003. During his time in treatment, a health board child care manager sought clarification from the Archdiocese on what measures had been taken to ensure that Fr Dante was no longer a threat to children. Fr Gleeson replied, telling her that Fr Dante had been asked to step aside from ministry, had been referred to Granada for risk assessment, had been moved to alternative accommodation across the city and had been assigned a priest advisor. The matter came before the advisory panel again in August 2003 where it was noted that Fr Dante was continuing to deny the allegations but had been attending Granada, where he had suggested that he would be happy to retire from the priesthood.
43.17 A report from Granada was sent to the Archdiocese in February 2004. This showed that Fr Dante consistently denied any sexual abuse although he did accept the reasons for his ministerial restrictions regarding contact with minors. He also consistently denied any erotic interest in children. Fr Dante had told Granada that he had rigorously adhered to the restrictions imposed on him. Granada concluded that his isolation meant his health problems were entering a chronic pattern and recommended that he be allowed retire. It suggested that it would be desirable both socially and mentally for him to return to the UK to be near his family. In March 2004, Fr Dante requested retirement from the priesthood on the basis of his poor health. He asked that he be permitted to return to the UK to be near his niece who was a nurse and could monitor his health problems.
43.18 His request for retirement went before the advisory panel. It was recommended that the precept under which he was living be maintained (that is, no ministry) and the implications of providing proper supervision in the UK be considered. The Gardaí and the health board were to be asked for their views of such a move. In June 2004, the advisory panel went a step further and concluded that specific recommendations would be needed from the Child Protection Service as to the safest arrangements for his move. The health board told the Archdiocese that if Fr Dante were to move to the UK then all those with whom he would be living or would have contact would need to be informed of the allegations against him. However, Fr Dante himself would first need to be informed that this was happening.
43.19 Fr Dante was notified of the requirements of a move to the UK diocese at the end of May 2004. He resisted the notification requirements as stated by the health board and suggested he would seek legal advice on the issue. He met Philip Garland, Director of the Child Protection Service, in July 2004. Mr Garland explained that the notification requirements were essential. Fr Dante again denied all allegations made against him.
43.20 His formal request for retirement was sent to Archbishop Martin in September 2004 and was considered by the bishops. The advisory panel recommended that full retirement be supported by the Archdiocese. In early December it recommended that a formal precept be put in place which would be explicit about the need to avoid any unsupervised contact with minors and restrictions on providing any ministry for him. It also recommended that the Child Protection Service maintain contact with its UK counterpart. The Archbishop also requested that Fr Dante‟s niece be informed. Fr Dante did not want her informed and he said that he would inform his sister. The advisory panel recommended that his sister be fully briefed on his retirement. In this respect, the panel believed it would be prudent for the delegate to be present when Fr Dante informed his sister.
43.21 Fr Dante returned to the UK in February 2005. The Child Protection Co-ordinator for the diocese to which he was moving was informed that he would be moving to the diocese and of the child protection concerns that had been raised about him. A canonical precept was drawn up and approved by both the Dublin Archdiocese and the UK diocese to which he was moving. The precept laid down the following conditions:
no public masses to be celebrated; he could do so in private but only those who were aware of his situation could attend;
no permission to celebrate other Sacraments except the Sacrament of Penance in situations of danger of death;
permission must be sought from the delegate of the Dublin Archdiocese to celebrate family occasions. The permission of the local bishop of the relevant jurisdiction should also be sought;
no unsupervised contact formal or informal with minors;
no clerical garb;
must co-operate with the representatives of the relevant dioceses.
43.22 This was followed by a behavioural contract between Fr Dante and the parish in the UK in which he would be living. This specified that he:
was not to wear clerical garb or involve himself in any liturgical activities in the parish community;
was not to celebrate mass in public; he could celebrate in a private room and in the company of those aware of the reasons for his retirement;
was to sit separately from children and families when attending mass in the parish;
was to accept the advice of the parish clergy about what mass to attend;
was to never be alone with children and must avoid any occasion where this may accidentally occur;
was to make a conscious effort to avoid befriending those who would have regular visits from children;
communicate any change of address or visit to another parish to the local clergy.
43.23 Shortly afterwards, the delegate in the UK diocese reported that Fr Dante was still in denial and had failed to inform his sister of the allegations. The advisory panel‟s concerns were vindicated. The UK delegate then briefed the sister due to his concern for her grandchildren who regularly visited. He also said that the information about Fr Dante would have to be shared with the parish deacon and the child protection representative but nobody else. The Dublin delegate responded by acknowledging the difficulty now faced by Fr Dante‟s family and agreeing that perhaps it should have been made a condition of his retirement that the Archdiocese be allowed to inform his family before the move to the UK. In April 2005, the UK diocese delegate told the Dublin delegate that Fr Dante‟s sister was shocked by the allegations; she was very angry at having been expected to look after him and she had confirmed that she would not take responsibility for being his monitor.
43.24 Fr Dante was nominated as a beneficiary of the Clerical Fund Society from 1 May 2005.
The Commission’s assessment
43.25 The complaints were dealt with by the Archdiocese appropriately and in accordance with the Framework Document. The Gardaí also dealt with them appropriately.
43.26 There was good communications between the Archdiocese, the Gardaí and the health board. There was also good communication between the Archdiocese and the UK diocese. The advisory panel was particularly effective in ensuring that this communication occurred and was clearly very aware of the need not to rely on Fr Dante himself to communicate with relevant people.
43.27 This case again raises the difficulty as to how the activities of priests accused of child sexual abuse are to be monitored. In this particular case, it appears that everything possible that could be done was done but the end result is that a priest about whom there are concerns is now living in an unsupervised regime.
44.1 Fr Cassius was born in 1910, ordained in 1934 and died in 1975. A complaint was made to the Archdiocese in 1999 that Fr Cassius sexually abused a girl in the early 1960s. The alleged abuse involved multiple sexual abuses including oral sex and gang rape involving the priest.
44.2 The complainant alleged that the abuse took place in an industrial school in the early 1960s, when she was aged between seven and ten. Fr Cassius was serving at the time in the parish where the industrial school was located. It was alleged that Fr Cassius lived in a house annexed to the school chapel and that a nun from the institution delivered the complainant to him for the purposes of permitting the abuse. The complainant alleged that the nun was complicit in the abuse on these occasions and that the nun herself participated in the abuse and watched it taking place. She alleged that she was gang-raped by three or four men in that house and that Fr Cassius was one of the participants in the rape.
44.3 Both the Gardaí and the Archdiocese investigated the complaint.
The Archdiocese Investigation
44.4 Another nun who had been in that institution for one month in 1951 and returned there for a longer period after 1975 stated on inquiry from the Archdiocese that, during her time there, priests did not have free access to the institution and there was no significant contact between the Archdiocese and the institution. She did recall one priest (not the priest being investigated, but against whom this complainant made a similar allegation) having attended from time to time to examine children on religious knowledge.
44.5 Monsignor Dolan, the chancellor at the time that the complaint was made, had a search carried out in the diocesan archives for relevant material concerning the institution between the period 1940 and 1971. This search however did not reveal any letters of complaint from anyone nor was there any record of concern from any outside agency about the institution during this time.
44.6 Similarly, the Commission has not come across any material that would indicate that there was any complaint made about this priest to the Archdiocese during his life time.
The Garda investigation
44.7 This investigation began when a statement was provided to the Gardaí by the complainant in July 1999 through her solicitor.
44.8 Garda records refer to the statement as being incomplete, as the complainant‟s solicitor had terminated the interview because she felt that the complainant was close to having a mental breakdown. The complainant lived abroad and had left Ireland a few days later with a promise to return to complete her statement. As the Gardaí did not consider the statement completed, their investigation did not significantly progress beyond this time. The Gardaí did obtain a copy of the unedited version of a media program involving the complainant. They also tried to arrange for the return of the complainant for the purposes of the completion of her statement but were unsuccessful in so doing. The Commission understands that the complainant has now declined to make any statement and the matter is consequently no longer under investigation by the Gardaí.
44.9 Civil proceedings were issued by the complainant in September 1999 against the Archdiocese. The Commission is not aware of any outcome to the civil proceedings.
The Commission’s assessment
44.10 The Archdiocese and the Gardaí did what they could to investigate this complaint. The priest was dead for 24 years when it was made so it was not possible to have a conclusive investigation.
45.1 Fr Giraldus was born in 1940 and ordained in 1970. He was a member of a religious order but was incardinated into the Dublin Archdiocese in the 1980s. The Commission is aware of two allegations of child sexual abuse against him; one of these was subsequently withdrawn.
First Complaint, 2000
45.2 An allegation of sexual abuse was made against Fr Giraldus in January 2000. It related to his time as a member of staff in a children‟s home outside the Dublin Archdiocese in the 1960s. The allegation was investigated by the Gardaí. Fr Giraldus emphatically denied the allegation. The Archdiocese made inquiries about his activities but no concerns emerged. The advisory panel recommended that he should not be asked to step aside from ministry nor should there be any change in his status. It recommended that the diocese await the outcome of the garda investigation before deciding how to proceed. However, in May 2000, the complainant withdrew his complaint against Fr Giraldus and explained that it was another staff member who had abused him.
Second Complaint, 2005
45.3 In April 2005, the head of the order of which Fr Giraldus had been a member received an anonymous letter alleging child sexual abuse by Fr Giraldus when he was a teacher at a Dublin secondary school and the writer was a pupil there in 1972/73. The alleged abuse involved touching the complainant and a number of other boys at a swimming pool. The head of the order communicated with the writer by email over a period. The writer lived abroad. The head of the order encouraged the complainant to go to the Gardaí and he explained that he would need to inform the Archdiocese of the allegation.
45.4 The order informed Philip Garland, Director of the Child Protection Service (CPS) in May 2005. It was agreed between the order and the Archdiocese that the Archdiocese would conduct an investigation and deal with the statutory authorities; the Archdiocese would provide victim support and all issues of litigation would be directed to the order.
45.5 The Child Protection Service contacted the still anonymous complainant by email. The support co-ordinator of the Child Protection Service then maintained frequent contact and offered support to the complainant throughout the following months. In June 2005, the complainant provided a signed statement. The Gardaí and the HSE were notified by the Child Protection Service.
45.6 The Gardaí expressed surprise that Fr Giraldus had not been removed from ministry and the HSE said that he presented a potentially high risk. The CPS recommended that he be asked to step aside from ministry.
45.7 The case was reviewed at an interagency meeting between the Archdiocese, the HSE and the Gardaí in early July 2005. The Gardaí confirmed that they had made contact with the complainant but had yet to launch a formal investigation as the complainant had not yet made a statement of complaint to them. The HSE confirmed that it would be satisfied if the Church followed through on its proposed actions, namely, that the priest be asked to step aside from ministry, leave his parish and go for assessment.
45.8 The Archbishop and the delegate then met Fr Giraldus. He denied the allegations and said he did not remember the complainant. He said he never touched a child sexually nor was he ever sexually aroused in a swimming pool. He admitted there would be horseplay at times but nothing inappropriate. He also admitted that he would have showered naked and that it would be possible that his swimming shorts might have come off when diving into the pool.
Stepping aside from ministry
45.9 Fr Giraldus was asked to step aside from ministry but was given permission to celebrate certain family events. He agreed to go to the Granada Institute for assessment. It was agreed that he would tell his parish team that he was taking a leave of absence. The Commission is somewhat surprised that this subterfuge was being used in 2005. He also had a support priest. Fr Giraldus moved out of his parish to a house he owned.
45.10 In mid July 2005, the complainant was informed that Fr Giraldus had stepped aside from ministry. His response was that he did not intend to pursue criminal proceedings provided the priest got professional help. In August, the complainant expressed his disappointment that he had heard of Fr Giraldus‟s denial of the allegations through a third party. He did not identify the third party involved. He said that he would cease to co-operate with the CPS if they were not more forthcoming with developments in the case. He also advised that he had met an obstacle when trying to give a Garda statement: he was required to be present to give the interview or to use Interpol or the police in the country where he was living, none of which he wanted to do. He further advised that he was seeking legal advice in Dublin.
45.11 Fr Giraldus attended Granada from September to November 2005. A report from Granada in January 2006 concluded that there were no grounds for restricting his involvement with or access to children nor did he need ongoing professional support or counselling. It noted that there was no concrete (meaning corroborative) evidence that Fr Giraldus had sexually abused the complainant and that there was an absence of any apparent erotic attraction to children.
45.12 The advisory panel, having seen this report, expressed its concern at the protracted length of the investigation and urged the CPS to press the Gardaí to get a statement from the complainant. Fr Giraldus was also anxious about the length of time he had been out of ministry and claimed that people were beginning to ask questions. The panel further recommended that advice be sought from the HSE on risk management in the case.
45.13 A second meeting between the Archdiocese, the HSE and the Gardaí was held in February 2006. Granada was represented at this meeting. The Gardaí indicated that there was no investigation at present as they did not have an official complaint. Granada reconfirmed that the priest had always asserted his innocence and his risk level was low. There was no evidence of an erotic interest in children or any evidence to restrict his access to children. Granada recommended that he be allowed to return to ministry but also uggested that he should be encouraged to retire. It is not clear why this recommendation was made. The HSE was uneasy about the situation in respect of the first complaint and with the fact that the order did not seem to have any concerns about the priest. It was concluded that the case should again go before the advisory panel for recommendation. It was also agreed that there would be a meeting with the order regarding its knowledge of the situation in the school during the priest‟s time there. The HSE would attend this meeting and would try to contact the first complainant. It is not clear why the HSE wanted to contact the first complainant as he had clearly withdrawn the complaint because he recognised that he had made a mistake of identification. The HSE did not, in fact, contact the first complainant.
45.14 The CPS updated the second complainant about the decisions which were made in the course of this meeting. The complainant confirmed that he was happy for the HSE to contact him. He also explained that it was purely the distance that was preventing him from making a statement to the Gardaí. The Archdiocese agreed to fund the cost of the complainant‟s journey to Ireland in order to make a statement to the Gardaí.
45.15 The CPS met the order in March 2006. The HSE was not at the meeting. The order informed the CPS that it had carried out a very detailed investigation regarding the school and swimming pool to which the allegations related but they were not aware of any concerns in relation to Fr Giraldus. The order representative confirmed that he would not have any concerns about Fr Giraldus in relation to child abuse issues. He also said that he knew the complainant and described him as a very trustworthy person.
45.16 The complainant came to Ireland in April 2006. He met the CPS, the order, the Gardaí and the HSE. He reiterated his assertion that Fr Giraldus had harmed others as he had heard boys tell stories of similar occurrences. He said that his reason for travelling to Ireland was the priest‟s denial of everything.
45.17 A further meeting between the Archdiocese, the HSE and the Gardaí was held in May 2006. The HSE said it had not followed up with the first complainant as there was no complaint. It also said it would be interested in trying to corroborate what the second complainant had said about the other boys. The Gardaí were of the opinion that there had been only one minor incident which would be difficult to prove and corroborate. They would continue to investigate. It was decided that Fr Giraldus should remain on administrative leave while the CPS followed up with the order regarding their knowledge. The HSE undertook to check its files in relation to the school in question. A final interagency meeting was held in July 2006. It was agreed that the case was unsubstantiated and it was not possible to determine the risk.
45.18 The Gardaí completed their investigations and forwarded a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). In December 2006, the DPP decided not to prosecute due to lack of medical or forensic evidence, delay, and the absence of witnesses to the alleged incident.
45.19 Fr Giraldus was restored to ministry in December 2006 and is currently in ministry.
The Commission’s assessment
45.20 The withdrawal of an allegation does not always mean that no further investigation should take place. However, the first allegation in this case was withdrawn because the complainant realised he had mistaken the identity of his abuser. In these circumstances, the Commission considers it reasonable to cease further investigation.
45.21 All concerned with the second allegation dealt with this case in accordance with the procedures and there was very good communication between the Archdiocese and the order and between the church and state authorities. The fact that the allegation was initially anonymous meant that there was a slight delay before the priest was removed from ministry and all the relevant people were contacted. The CPS was trying to get further information so the slight delay was reasonable. The Archdiocese facilitated the complainant in making his complaint to the civil authorities and is to be commended for that.
45.22 This is one of the cases in which the HSE did not provide documents to the Commission until it had received the draft of this chapter. The HSE attended the interagency meetings and was kept fully informed by the CPS but it is not clear to the Commission that the HSE had any real function at these meetings. It is understandable that the Archdiocese was relying, to some extent, on the HSE to provide a risk assessment but the HSE was not in a position to do that.
110 This is a pseudonym.
111 This is a pseudonym.
112 This is a pseudonym.
113 This is a pseudonym.