Commission of Investigation
Terms of Reference
A Commission of Investigation is established to:
(a) select a representative sample of complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made to the archdiocesan and other Catholic Church authorities and public and State authorities in the period 1 January 1975 to 1 May 2004 against Catholic clergy operating under the aegis of the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin;
(b) examine and report on the nature of the response to those sample complaints or allegations on the part of the authorities to which those sample complaints or allegations were reported, including whether there is any evidence of attempts on the part of those authorities to obstruct, prevent or interfere with the proper investigation of such complaints;
(c) in the case of complaints or allegations being examined, examine and report also on the nature of the response to any other complaints or allegations made by the complainant or against the person in respect of whom those complaints or allegations were made, including any such complaints or allegations made before 1 January 1975;
(d) select a representative sample of cases where the archdiocesan and other Catholic Church and public and State authorities had in the period 1 January 1975 to 1May 2004 knowledge of or strong and clear suspicion of or reasonable concern regarding sexual abuse involving Catholic clergy operating under the aegis of the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin;
(e) establish the response of the archdiocesan and other Catholic Church and public and State authorities to those sample cases;
(f) establish the levels of communication that prevailed between the archdiocesan and other Catholic Church authorities and public and State authorities with regard to those sample complaints, allegations, knowledge, reasonable concern or strong and clear suspicion;
(g) examine, following a notification from the Minister for Health and Children that a Catholic diocese in the State may not have established the structures or may not be operating satisfactorily the procedures set out in the Report of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Advisory Committee on Child Sexual Abuse by Priests and Religious, Child Sexual Abuse: Framework for a Church Response (1996) and any subsequent similar document, the position in that diocese;
(h) examine, following a notification from the Minister for Health and Children that a Catholic diocese in the State may not be implementing satisfactorily the recommendations of the Ferns Report delivered to the Minister for Health and Children on 25 October, 2005, the position in that diocese; and make a report on these matters considered by the Government to be of significant public concern.
Statement of Costs and Time Frame for Investigation
The Commission of Investigation was established on 28 March, 2006 for a period of eighteen months. It will be required to make a final report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, as the specified Minister, not later than eighteen months from the date of its establishment.
The Commission of Investigation will comprise a Chairperson and two members. Staffing of the Commission will comprise a Senior Counsel, a Junior Counsel, a Solicitor/Administrator, five researchers, and six support staff.
The estimated salaries, legal fees, and administrative costs for the Commission will total €4.5 million for an eighteen month period. This includes a provision for third party costs that may be awarded by the Commission.
Commission of Investigation, Dublin Archdiocese, Catholic diocese of Cloyne
21 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel: 01-6190000 Fax: 01-6190029