Over €1m paid out in compensation by the Vincentian Community after 45 instances of abuse alleged against 9 priests

Nov 28, 2022 | Childhood Sexual Abuse

The Vincentian Community are one of many religious orders accredited with the operation of several schools nationwide.

The Vincentian Community colleges Image credit Laurel Lodged, CC BY-SA 4.0

These schools include St Patrick’s College in Armagh and Castleknock College in Dublin.

With many religious orders coming under fire in recent weeks after it was reported that the Holy Ghost Order had paid over €5m in compensation to the victims of abuse since 2004, it is now reported that the Vincentian Community have paid a sum of €1,015,000 in compensation.

This total amount doesn’t include the €436,150 the order paid to the claimants’ legal representation teams to cover the fees associated with such claims.

Of the alleged 45 cases of abuse, two were concerning bullying and physical harassment while the majority were allegations of sexual abuse. 

These 45 allegations have all been made in the past 15 years, according to a spokesperson for the Community, and the order has paid out over €1m in compensation to the victims of abuse.

These allegations are reported to date back to the 1950s and 1960s, and the nine priests accused of abusing children have all since died.

It is understood that these priests were teaching employees of the school, although two additional allegations of abuse have been made against a non-teaching employee.

Of the 45 allegations, Fr Donal Gallagher was the perpetrator of 29 cases.

Fr Gallagher, who has since passed away, was one of the named priests in the 2009 Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin conducted by Sean Ryan.

With the ongoing wave of clerical abuse scandals being published by the media, it is expected that more victims will come forward as new concerns are being raised about a number of other members of the order.

One of whom is a priest who is still alive and the allegation, which came from a former pupil of the school, is currently under review and the priest in question is reported to not be in active ministry at this time.

The spokesperson for the Vincentian Community concluded their statement of apology saying: “We deeply regret and sincerely apologise for the suffering people have endured or experienced as a result of abuse. And we ask any other person who has suffered abuse at any of our schools or ministries to contact us or the relevant authorities. We wish to assure those who make contact that we will assist as best we can.”

Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

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