December 8, 2011

The allegations of sexual abuse against former Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. McQuaid, published in today’s Irish Times are very disturbing, says One in Four.

Executive director Maeve Lewis says “If these allegations are true, then the sexual abuse of children extended to the very highest levels in the Irish Catholic Church.  Dr. McQuaid was Archbishop of Dublin for over thirty years and was at that time possibly the most powerful, influential and feared man in Ireland.  If Archbishop McQuaid was, as is alleged, a sex offender himself, then it is no wonder that the secrecy and cover-ups which have characterised the Church’s handling of sexual abuse was so entrenched.”

One in Four now calls on Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald to establish a sworn statutory inquiry to investigate this matter.  Maeve Lewis continues: “It is the only way to establish the truth of the matter.  If Dr. McQuaid is innocent of the allegations then it will be an opportunity to restore his good name.  If the allegations are true, then we must know the extent of the sexual abuse, who else was involved and crucially if the Church or civil authorities of the time had knowledge of the abuse but failed to act.  If records exist, they must be examined”.

Maeve Lewis ends: “If these allegations are true, it would have been impossible, given Archbishop’s McQuaid’s status and authority, for any victims to have disclosed the abuse or ask for help.  I urge anybody who has been affected by the publication of these allegations to contact One in Four for support”


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