Ten claims of abuse at Limerick College reported to Gardaí

The late Fr Joseph Marmion who is the subject of sexual abuse allegations.

At least ten allegations have been reported to Gardaí that paedophile priest, Fr Joseph Marmion, sexually, physically or emotionally abused young pupils at the former all boys Crescent College in Limerick City.

Marmion, who died in 2000, taught at the Limerick Jesuits all boys school from 1959 to 1962 before he moved to Clongowes Wood College in Kildare for a second stint from 1965-1969.

He was then appointed to Belvedere College until 1978 after allegations emerged of his sexual assaults on boys.

It is the first confirmation by the Jesuits of allegations against Marmion in respect of pupils at Crescent College, (also known as Sacred Heart College) which closed 40 years ago.

Initially, the Jesuit Order did not specifically answer when asked if it was aware of any allegations against Marmion in respect of Crescent College.

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However a spokeswoman for the order subsequently stated:“I have contacted our safeguarding office and can tell you there have been ten allegations of either sexual or physical/emotional abuse against Fr Joseph Marmion SJ arising from his time as a teacher in Crescent College.”

She added that Marmion, a UK native, had no links to the Jesuit-run Crescent College Comprehensive in Dooradoyle, which replaced Crescent College at The Crescent in 1973.

The spokeswoman said the Jesuits had paid  €7.4 million in compensation including legal, medical and counselling fees to victims of Jesuit priests.

She added that the Jesuit Order was aware of 149 allegations regarding 43 Jesuits, going back over 80 years. All abuse allegations against Marmion “have been reported to the Gardaí and relevant authorities”.

The Garda Press Office has yet to respond to questions submitted on September 12,  October 4, and November 16 asking if Gardaí were investigating the allegations of abuse against Fr Joseph Marmion.

When the same question was put to Child and Family Agency Tusla, a spokesman replied that it does not comment on “specific details of individual cases in the public domain”.

When asked if it was involved in any investigation into Fr Marmion, the Department of Education replied that it “does not have an investigatory role in relation to alleged child protection concerns.”

However a spokesperson said that it passes on any concerns about child protection “to the relevant authorities”.

Last January, the Jesuits launched a redress scheme for Marmion’s victims, offering them compensation of more than €75,000. The scheme only applies to victims who were abused by Marmion prior to their eighteenth birthday.

The criteria states that accepting a settlement means that the “applicant waives his right to pursue a claim against the Jesuits, Crescent College, Clongowes College, Belvedere College or any individual member of the Jesuit Order, their servants or agents for all claims, losses or damages”.

When asked how many victims were participating and how much compensation was paid since January, the spokeswoman for the  Jesuits refused to give further details about the scheme.

“Accessing redress or compensation is the private concern of the victims/survivors but we can say that in general the redress scheme has been and is currently processing all the claims that have been made through it,” she added.

The spokeswoman said the Jesuit Order wanted “to continue to encourage any person who has been abused in any way at the hands of Fr Joseph Marmion SJ or any other Jesuit to contact them and/or the relevant authorities”.

Victims who wish to make a claim to the Jesuits redress scheme should contact the following restorative practitioners:

Catherine O’Connell Catherine.oconnell@mu.ie 0879936237

Barbara Walshe barbarawalshe@live.com 0868186639 or

Saoirse Fox, Child Safeguarding Manager in the Jesuit Safeguarding Office ; email safeguardin@jesuit.ie  089 264 4400