A new report by the Dublin Archdiocese reveals one in every 14 priests has been the subject of child abuse allegations.
The shocking figure, reported on wwww.thejournal.ie, relates to official statistics going back over 70 years.
The archdiocese report also states that the figure continues to rise with fresh allegations ongoing. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has been outspoken in cleaning up the mess in his own archdiocese and speaking out strongly.
In the last year alone, it says, accusations have been made against four priests who were not previously the subject of allegations.
Suspicions have also been raised over a fifth priest working in the Dublin diocese.
The report says that 98 Dublin priests have been accused of sexually abusing children since the 1940s. Around 1,350 priests have served in the diocese in that time so the allegations refer to seven per cent of the total, or just over one in 14.
The figures are revealed in the annual Child Protection Update released by the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The report shows a ‘sharp decline in abuse allegations since the 1980s, when they peaked after rising through the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s’.
It also contains details of ten priests who it describes as serial abusers. One had 97 allegations against him.
The report says that five of the ten have been criminally convicted, and two are now deceased while, of the remaining three, one has been laicised and has no contact with the diocese. The other two are out of active ministry, and are being ‘supervised’ by the diocese.
Journal.ie reports that Andrew Fagan, director of the archdiocese’s Child Safeguarding and Protection Service, said it is one of a small number of organisations across the country actively supervising men who are deemed a risk to children.
“The service reduces the risk of reoffending and is more extensive than equivalent State-run services,” he said.
“It is essential that the diocese continue to prioritise the safety of children.
“While the majority of allegations of abuse reported to us now relate to sexual abuse which may have occurred many years ago, it is still crucial to be vigilant and to work to ensure standards are maintained.
“However parishes in Dublin are now safer places for children to be.”