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Irish clergy sex abuse study shows many suspected, some sued, but few convicted

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] Results of a new study released by the Dublin Roman Catholic archdiocese [diocesan website] in Ireland show that while 102 Dublin priests are suspected of abusing children since 1940 and 32 of them are facing lawsuits, only eight have actually been convicted of criminal offenses. Even so, the legal bill for the archdiocese has already has paid $7 million in settlements and fees. The study, initiated by Vatican diplomat Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, examined records of more than 2800 priests that have worked in Dublin in the last 66 years and stands as the most frank and serious admission of sex abuse by any Irish Roman Catholic Church official. Archbishop Martin has also established a $3 million Child Protection Service [diocesan website].

Conclusions drawn from the report are being scrutinized as a Irish government probe prepares to look into the mishandling of abuse cases by the church following an earlier inquiry [report] by an Irish Supreme Court judge into abuses in the Diocese of Ferns [official website]. The fallout from clergy sexual abuse [JURIST news archive] in Ireland has been even more severe than in the United States, especially as the Irish government incorporated the church with the state up until the 1970s. AP has more.

Angela Onikepe is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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