Northern Ireland

Two NI Catholic dioceses to publish child safeguarding reports

The reports will focus on child welfare in Catholic dioceses
Image caption The reports will focus on child welfare in Catholic dioceses

Two Catholic dioceses in Northern Ireland are preparing to publish major reports into historical child abuse.

The Diocese of Raphoe, in Donegal, is to publish a much anticipated report next week.

However, the BBC has learned that separate reviews will also be published into child welfare in the dioceses of Derry and Dromore.

All three reports have been conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.

The Safeguarding Board helps to protect children in the Catholic Church from being abused by priests or anyone else.

It was set up because of various child abuse scandals.

The board is now reviewing every diocese in the country, examining what was done wrong in the past.

Notorious paedophile

Its most eagerly awaited report is probably that into the Diocese of Raphoe, which covers most of County Donegal.

It is where one of Ireland's most notorious paedophile priests, Eugene Greene, abused more than 20 boys over 20 years.

While the Raphoe report has been expected, little was known about other dioceses including those in Northern Ireland.

Now it has emerged that two other reports will also be published next week - one into the Diocese of Derry and the other into Dromore, which covers parts of south Down and Armagh.

The Raphoe, Derry and Dromore reviews could track back as far as 1975, providing details of how these three dioceses have dealt with child abuse since the mid-1970s and, how they deal with it now.

Image caption The retired Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty is expected to be in the spotlight following the publications

If they come up short on current child protection procedures, they will be told.

The retired Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty is expected to be in the spotlight following the publications next week.

He was bishop in Raphoe during the 1980s and early 90s while Eugene Greene was abusing boys in the diocese.

Questions are expected to arise over how Green was managed.

As the Derry Diocese prepares to publish its own report next week, a new diocesan administrator has been appointed, pending the appointment of a new bishop.

He is Monsignor Eamon Martin, a former head of St Columb's College in the city

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