Posted on 09. Sep, 2012
Statement issued by Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor to Sunday Times
8 September 2012
My overriding concern as Bishop of Down and Connor is and will continue to be the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in both the diocese and throughout Ireland.
We all have a duty as professionals in this field of work to continually scrutinise and challenge our current processes in the pursuit of better and safe practice. This will ensure not only the protection of children but the rights of those victims who come forward to tell their stories.
The matter which arose between the diocese and the National Board was a procedural matter, which required attention. It did not in any way affect or interfere with safeguarding practice. Matters were brought to my attention by third parties and were then informally raised with the National Board. The National Board instigated a formal complaints procedure.
The issues I raised are rooted in my genuine concern for the well-being of victims affected by abuse.
I have accepted the findings of the Report and continue to work effectively with the NBSCCI towards our common objective of safeguarding children.
I support the work of Ian Elliott, his staff and the Board and I look forward to continuing our collaborative working relationship. I wrote to Ian Elliott withdrawing, and apologising for, an earlier assertion. We have moved on from this and we met at the beginning of the summer to discuss how we continue to work towards our common goal, the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
I have asked the National Board to come and review the work of this diocese, and indeed I have proposed that funding be increased to expedite the Review process. In 2011, I decided to commission an independent internal review of all diocesan cases, living and deceased, in order to benchmark all the work undertaken. Marian Reynolds MBE and Dr John Devaney were appointed to conduct this review. I have shared their findings with the Board, the relevant statutory bodies and an executive summary is on the diocesan website.
At all times I, together with the staff of the Diocesan Safeguarding Office, have remained focused on the task of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The Diocesan Safeguarding Office has just published its first Annual Report which details the intensive work that is being undertaken in this regard throughout the diocese and its parishes and it sets out the priorities for the next year.