Date: 12 May 2014
Media enquiries: Mr Robin O'Sullivan 087-2572607.
Statement of Brother Andrew Hickey, Province Leader of Presentation Brothers in Ireland: (pdf version here)
"Last year I invited the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) to conduct a review of our Safeguarding policies, procedures, and practices.
I thank the National Board for producing the review which is published today. I fully accept the recommendations made in the report. This has been a constructive process that will result in even more robust Safeguarding systems.
I apologise sincerely today to those who have been abused by a Brother regardless of how long ago that abuse took place. The pain of abuse is carried everyday by those who have survived their ordeal. I know that: I have met with and listened to survivors. As a Brother, I am disgusted by the abuse of a child’s innocence and by any betrayal of trust. It is simply inexcusable.
I encourage anyone who has yet to come forward to do so and report the matter either to our Designated Liaison Person for Safeguarding Children, Ms Jenny Rice (086-3932685), and/or to the statutory authorities. Counselling help is also available at the dedicated helpline: Towards Healing – Freephone 1800 303416 (Republic of Ireland), 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland), www.towardshealing.ie
During the fieldwork period of the review I noticed that an additional file which had been labelled ‘physical abuse’ - and was thus outside the terms of reference of the review - also contained references to sexual abuse against deceased Brothers. I immediately contacted the National Board and notified the Gardaí and the HSE. I take responsibility for the error and apologise for this reporting failure.
Today’s review acknowledges that Safeguarding is a priority for the Presentation Brothers. It also notes that there is a good working relationship between the Brothers and the statutory authorities. I would like to thank the many people, lay and religious, who have helped us to develop the standards that are in place today. There is never room for complacency and I encourage a culture of vigilance. Our constant challenge is to ensure that high standards are maintained.
I am grateful to Teresa Devlin, CEO of the National Board, and the members of the National Board for their continued guidance, availability and on-going support."
Media enquiries to Robin O’Sullivan, 087-2572607.