More abuse cases at religious schools are emerging as pressure mounts for an investigation

Calls for an independent investigation into abuse in religious schools are growing as more allegations surface.

Labor leader Ivana Bacik said there should be a full investigation examining every aspect of the scandal and the existence of institutional cover-ups.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the government is considering a victim-led investigation into schools run by the Spiritans, where more than 300 allegations have been made against 78 members.

But opposition parties are now urging the government to widen the scope of any investigation after other communities confirmed allegations against their members.

Glenstal Abbey boarding school in Co Limerick said it had records of four historic abuse allegations against two members of the Benedictine community.

“There were no criminal or civil proceedings,” said a spokesman Irish Independent. “In some of these cases, financial settlements have been made.

“With every settlement and by mutual consent, we are bound by a confidentiality agreement.”

The Vincentian congregation said 45 allegations had been made against nine priests, and 17 of those came from alumni who attended Castleknock College, St Paul’s in Raheny, St Peter’s National School in Phibsborough, all Dublin, and St Patrick’s attended college at Armagh.

29 of the allegations were made against a priest.

To date, the Vincentian community has paid €1,015,000 in compensation and €436,150 in legal fees.

The Vincentian community believes more allegations could be made.

Ms Bacik said any investigation into abuse “must be conducted by survivors and seek to verify the extent of the abuse and, most importantly, the existence of institutional cover-ups in individual schools and by special orders.”

She also said: “An attempt should also be made to examine the role of the state and in particular the failure of the state to do what the state could and should have done to prevent abuse in schools where the teachers were state-paid and the Schools had received significant public funding.”

The Vincentian congregation said nine priests accused of child abuse have since died.

While the majority of the allegations related to sexual abuse, two involved allegations of bullying and physical abuse.

A spokesman for the Vincentian community said all of the allegations had been made in the last 15 years and dated from the 1950s.

However, “concerns” have also been raised about a number of other priests, but no formal allegations have yet been made.

“There is an allegation by a former student of one of our schools against a priest who is still alive,” the spokesman said. “This allegation is currently being investigated by legal authorities and the priest in question is not on active duty.” More abuse cases at religious schools are emerging as pressure mounts for an investigation

Fry Electronics Team

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