By Claire O’Sullivan

WEDNESDAY, April 6th 2010

CLERICAL abuse victims have expressed horror at a decision by the Diocese of Cloyne to appoint a child protection delegate who was forced to step down to the diocese’s child protection training committee.

Fr Bill Bermingham stepped down from his role as Cloyne’s child protection delegate last summer after clerical abuse victims expressed disgust at his decision to show victims’ statements to accused priests and their solicitors before gardaí interviewed them.

He is now one of eight people sitting on the diocese’s child protection training committee which is chaired by Con Lynch.

Last night a Cloyne clerical abuse victim said: “I am sickened that this is possible, that this man could be put in charge of training priests and lay people about best child protection practice. I cannot believe that the Church would even consider this after Fr Bermingham blatantly abused our trust. It can take victims up to 30 years to make a statement and then to have victims’ trust breached like that again is appalling. ”

Chief executive of One in Four, Maeve Lewis, last night said: “Given the history of this man as a child protection delegate and given his complete misunderstanding of or failure to properly manage child protection guidelines, I do not think that he is suitable for training people in this area.”

A spokesman for the diocese last night said Fr Bermingham had “no role in the management in the clerical abuse cases” and was just “overseeing the training of priests and lay people and helping to develop diocesan policy”.

At the end of last year, Fr Bermingham was replaced as child protection delegate by a lay person and former HSE social worker, Bill Meagher.

Fr Bermingham himself was drafted into the role in 2008 when Bishop John Magee’s long-time child protection delegate, Monsignor Denis O’Callaghan stepped down in the face of strong criticism of the diocese’s handling of abuse by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC).

Meanwhile, the High Court will shortly hear an application by the Minister for Justice as to what parts of the Murphy Commission report into the handling of child sex abuse allegations in Cloyne should be published.

The commission of investigation, set up by the minister, has prepared a report into the handling by the Church and by state authorities of allegations of child sexual abuse against clerics operating in the diocese, which covers north and east Cork, between January 1, 1996, and February 1, 2009.

The report, which consists of 27 chapters, and relates to 19 clerics against whom complaints were made, was submitted to the minister on December 23.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Wednesday, April 06, 2011


3 Responses to “Priest made child protection trainer despite controversy”

  1. This is terrable. commen sense is needed in this . thay are giving these people so many second chances that it should figure in the guiness book of recordes.A rapists should have no voice at all in caring for others . thay have proven over and over again that itsnot possable for them to put others before themselves. even known rapists have tried to get away with things like thay have done more good for the church than harm to the kids thay raped. trust is urgently needed when it comes to these guys in long black dresses

  2. Martha says:

    @ Pauline Jackson:-

    Yes, but Pauline, what you fail to realise is Ireland is a HAVEN for all types of abusers, paedophiles, rapists, muggers, scam artists, multi-national Big Business, etc etc… you name it!

    As a people, we may have progressed materially, but we’re still in the past (circa the 1920’s) with regard to our psychological development. Note, a LOT of irish people have bright new shiny houses, cars etc., along with their HUGE debts – but not many Irish people in this day and age have actually managed to step out of their emotionally-repressed (read Roman Catholic) parents’ shoes …

  3. this is too important to take a toss of a dice. these people have proved that thay are not empathic towards children. thier religion forbids them to consider the children first. thay have made vows about this. thay should be left out of education. thay are fanatics. giving them a second chance is very dangerous. all sex offenders should be kept away from kids . and this man covered his brothers in religion. so he is a sex offender.

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