Press Release

Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children announces the establishment of the Inquiry into the handling of Allegations of Child Sex Abuse in the Diocese of Ferns

Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister for Health and Children, today (22 October 2002) announced that the Government has approved the establishment of an Inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns. “The establishment of this Inquiry follows on from the very thorough and efficient report prepared by Mr. George Bermingham, SC”, said Minister Martin.

The Inquiry will consist of a panel of three and will be chaired by former Supreme Court Judge, Mr. Justice Frank Murphy. The other members of the team will be a specialist in the child protection area and a specialist in the area of management and human resources. As recommended by Mr. Bermingham, the Inquiry will be non statutory to allow it design its own procedures and it will look at allegations of abuse in the Ferns Diocese.

“In view of the co-operation received from all parties and in line with the recommendations outlined in the report, a non statutory Inquiry is considered the best option. This follows consultation with representatives of the victims of child sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns. I now intend to hold a further meeting tomorrow with representatives of the victims group to finalise terms of reference and related issues”, the Minister said.