He was once the man who dominated the Catholic Church in Dublin – now two sex abuse complaints against former Archbishop John Charles McQuaid have come to light.
The complaints included an allegation of abuse of a 12-year-old boy by Archbishop McQuaid in 1961. A separate concern to the two abuse allegations was also brought to the Commission’s attention.
The paper reports that complaints and concern were addressed in a ‘Supplementary Report to the Dublin Archdiocese Investigation’, published on the commission’s website on July 13th, the day it published the Cloyne report.
The Irish Times also reports that Archbishop McQuaid is not identified by name in the supplementary report but is described as a cleric who ‘has been dead for many years’. He retired in 1972 and died in 1973.
The Murphy commission’s findings into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Dublin archdiocese were published in November 2009.
The supplementary report states that as the commission was completing its main report in the summer of 2009, it received information which would have ‘brought another cleric’ within its remit.
The report states that the commission was concerned that ‘this may have been withheld deliberately and felt this required investigation’.
An adult alleged in 2003 that he had been abused by Archbishop McQuaid but the complaint was ‘not made known to the commission when the Health Service Executive discovered documents relating to it’.
The paper adds that, “In May 2009 this complaint was made known to Phil Garland, then director of child protection in Dublin’s archdiocese. He informed Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the commission was “immediately informed”, the report says. The HSE subsequently supplied relevant documentation to the commission.
“The archdiocese then organised a further trawl of its files and found a letter ‘which showed that there was an awareness among a number of people in the archdiocese that there had been a concern expressed about this cleric in 1999’, the report states. The ‘cleric’ is Archbishop McQuaid.”
The commission accepted that the failure to hand over the 2003 documentation was down to human error.
In 2010 however, after the commission’s report had been published, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin revealed that he had received another abuse complaint against Archbishop McQuaid.
The supplementary report said “Archbishop Martin was under no obligation to give the commission this information”. The 2010 complaint is also the subject of a civil action against the archdiocese.
Responding to questions from The Irish Times, the archdiocese said that it treated information regarding abuse in a confidential manner, ‘out of respect to all involved’.