Safeguarding Policy of the Catholic Church in Ireland

As a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland we recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children and are committed to ensuring their safety and wellbeing, and will work in partnership with parents/guardians to do this. We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

All Church personnel (including clergy, religious, staff, volunteers and any other Church personnel) have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment which supports their best interests and prevents abuse.

Fr Michael McGoldrick, OCD Provincial

Policy and Procedures

Founding Principles and Ethos

  • To be faithful to our founding OCD charism of contemplation and healing through our lifestyle, ministry actions and otherwise.
  • To safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is paramount.
  • To ensure that none of the Friars, personnel or volunteers engages in behaviour that could allow abuse to occur or actions that could be misinterpreted by children, young people, vulnerable adults, their families or other adults as constituting or leading to abuse.
  • To liaise closely and openly with the civil authorities, statutory agencies and relevant Church authorities to ensure that any concerns or allegations of abuse that are raised are promptly reported and appropriately responded to, victims supported and offenders are held to account.
  • To encourage persons who have concerns or allegations against an OCD Friar to report directly to the civil authorities – local Gardai, Police and Health authorities.
  • To provide victim support and outreach through Towards Healing Counselling Service : Phone: 1 800 331234 (from Republic of Ireland) or 0800 97 32 72 ( from Northern Ireland and the UK).
  • To work co-operatively with the Statutory Agencies in the interest of public safety through risk identification, management and prevention measures and victim reduction.

What to do if you have a concern or allegation/complaint against an OCD Friar, employee or volunteer?

  • Contact: Designated Officer: Tom O’Donnell: 087 268 7209
  • Contact: Deputy Designated Officer: Fr Vincent O’Hara 087 675 5850

For more information see the website of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland ; www.safeguarding.ie