Statement by Archbishop Michael Neary in response to the Ryan Report issued on May 21st, 2009
The report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, makes for sad and disturbing reading. The abuse, suffering and harm caused to so many young children in religious run institutions is a source of deep regret and disgrace. It is most disturbing to hear the stories of personal pain and the indignity inflicted on the most vulnerable children in our society.
I apologise unreservedly, on behalf of the Church, for our failure to protect children. As Archbishop of Tuam I am particularly ashamed of the abuse that occurred in Letterfrack and Clifden. I ask forgiveness of those who suffered. Abuse of children when perpetrated by a priest or religious is both a terrible crime and a betrayal of sacred trust.
It is good that this report offers the opportunity to many to have their story heard and believed. In this way I hope and pray that healing may come about.
It is absolutely necessary for the recommendations of the Ryan Report to be implemented. Appropriate structures and resources need to be put in place to ensure the safeguarding of children, and we must always be vigilant in this regard.
The Archdiocese of Tuam is fully committed to implementing best practice in terms of safeguarding those children who are in the pastoral care of the Church. If anyone has a concern regarding the safety and well being of any child, I would urge them to contact the relevant authorities without delay.