Redacted chapter of Cloyne Report published

Monday 19 December 2011 22.00
Cloyne Report can now be published in full
Cloyne Report can now be published in full

The Department of Justice has published the redacted portions of the Cloyne Report, which deal with Fr Ronat.

The report into clerical child sexual abuse was published in July but sections were not published following an order by the High Court.

However, the court ordered on Friday that the report could be published in full.

Fr Ronat served in a number of parishes and was a teacher and career guidance counsellor for a number of years.

All complaints made against him were made between 1989 and 2009, but they mainly relate to the 1970s and 1980s. He retired in 2005 and is no longer in ministry.

The commission is aware of 11 complainants who allege they were sexually abused by Fr Ronat, three of whom were young adults at the time the abuse allegedly took place.

Fr Ronat practised hypnosis as a means of dealing with the problems of people who came to him in his capacity as a guidance counsellor.

A number of complainants told the commission that they were asked about hypnosis when they were making a complaint.

Bishop John Magee denies any knowledge of Fr Ronat practising hypnosis. Fr Ronat told the commission that he did use hypnosis but only as a hobby.

He said that he did not use it with people who had emotional problems, but only for treatment of addictions, such as tobacco and alcohol. He said he practised hypnosis from 1981 to about 1988 or 1989.

The Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cloyne, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, has said it is regrettable that procedures for dealing with abuse cases were not carried out in Cloyne.

He said: "On behalf of the Diocese of Cloyne, and on my own behalf, may I express my profound sorrow and once again extend my sincere sympathy to those who have been abused and to their families.

"I would like to assure the public, and particularly the people of the diocese of Cloyne, that all of the child safeguarding procedures set out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church are being implemented fully."

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the redacted portions of the report detailed the failure of the Catholic Chuch to comply with its own child abuse guidelines and to ensure that allegations of abuse when first received were brought to the notice of gardaí.

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said: "I am deeply disturbed at the findings in this previously redacted chapter. My thoughts are with the complainants in this chapter and their families, all of whom must be commended for their courage and perseverance.

"It is clear that the priority of the church authorities in Cloyne was the protection of the institution of the church and not the protection of children in the diocese or the protection of other children."

"This is just further evidence of the terrible wrongdoing that took place against a generation of innocent young people at the hands of those they trusted," said Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Charlie McConalogue.