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Eire Of Shame Over Catholic Sex Abuse

Dublin- More then 100 Catholic priests and members of religious orders in Ireland's biggest archdiocese have been accused of child sex abuse in the past 66 years, according to new church figures.
Huge sums of compensation money are also being paid out to victims based on claims filed from inside Ireland and Irish people from around the world, including Australia and New Zealand.
The Archdiocese of Dublin said allegations had been made against 68 of its priests and 23 members of religious orders or priests from other dioceses who held appointment in Dublin.
Suspicions have also been expressed about seven Dublin priests and four members of religious orders or priests from other dioceses.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said an independent review had examined the files of more than 2800 priests and members of religious orders from 1940 to this year.
"From the information now available approximately 350 victims have been identified, and there are indications of a possible further 40 persons who may have been abused but who it is not yet possible to identify or trace," according to a statement.
Criminal convictions have been brought against eight priests.
There have also been 105 civil court actions against 32 priests of the diocese or priests who held appointments.
There has been widespread shock throughout the predominately Catholic country about the scale of the problem that is emerging.
An Irish government body paying out compensation to people who suffered abuse in mainly religious-run childcare institutions said in December that it had received 14,768 applications.
The government body had so far paid out an average of about $122,000 to thousands of abuse victims.
It has processed about 4500 applicaitons up to December, and paid out a total of $540 million in awards.
The final cost to the Irish taxpayer is expected to exceed $1.6 billion.

Herald Sun (10-3-2006)

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