The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, October 22, 2010
Irish bishop won’t face charges; Sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, [email protected])
We don’t know enough to say whether Bishop Magee should or shouldn’t be prosecuted for allegedly concealing child sex crimes. But we do know that unless top Catholic officials face consequences for endangering kids, they’ll likely keep endangering kids.
Rarely does a bishop experience any discomfort or inconvenience for ignoring or concealing devastating crimes against kids. That’s one reason bishops continue to ignore and conceal these crimes.
So it’s crucial that whenever possible, police and prosecutors pursue charges against the church hierarchy for protecting predators instead of children.
We hope that anyone with information about Bishop Magee’s alleged misdeeds will contact gardai right away. And we hope that the Irish justice system will do all it can to hold top church staff accountable for the horrific harm caused to so many boys and girls.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
Bishop not to face charges, rules the DPP
By Clodagh Sheehy - Friday October 22 2010
An allegation of reckless endangerment against former Bishop of Cloyne John Magee has been dismissed by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The former bishop had been questioned by gardai during an investigation launched after a complaint by a retired school teacher.
The teacher said he believed the former bishop had endangered children by failing to fully inform gardai of abuse complaints made against priests in the diocese.
The DPP has now ruled that "there is no evidence as to the commission of an offence in respect of the issues raised".
Meanwhile, the report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation into the handling of child abuse complaints in the Cloyne diocese will be handed over to the Department of Justice within days.
It is not yet clear when the report's findings will be made public.
Following the publication of the National Board for Safeguarding Children report (NBSC) in December 2008, the retired teacher lodged a complaint with the North Cork Garda Division.
The complaint was made under the Endangerment of Children Act 2006 and resulted in a full garda investigation.
Commenting on the DPP decision not to prosecute former Bishop John Magee, the teacher said last night said he "was very disappointed by the decision but was not giving up".
"I firmly believe that if a school principal had taken such an approach to child protection that they would be charged with reckless endangerment," he said.
One of the victims whose child sexual abuse was highlighted in the NBSC report said she "wasn't remotely surprised" the DPP hadn't decided to prosecute as he had "repeatedly returned garda files relating to Father B".
[email protected] - - Clodagh Sheehy
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests