Limerick school cannot release details of sexual abuse settlements

Abbot Brendan Coffey at Glenstal Abbey.

DETAILS of financial settlements arising out of the alleged sexual abuse of pupils at a prestigious County Limerick boarding school cannot be disclosed for confidential reasons.

The Abbot of Glenstal Abbey in Murroe admitted that financial settlements were made in some cases. However, he said that they were bound by a confidentiality agreement in each settlement  and these agreements were by mutual consent.

Abbot Brendan Coffey said Glenstal has records of “four historic allegations against two members of the monastic community relating to abuse in Glenstal Abbey School”.

He aded that “a further historical concern” had been highlighted “regarding a long deceased monk” at Glenstal.

Abbot Coffey said all of the allegations were mentioned “in our safeguarding audits which are available on our website”.

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“They were all fully reported and investigated. There are no current cases.”

Abbot Coffey said “no legal costs were incurred by members facing allegations” as there were “no court proceedings”.

Separately, Gardaí have yet to clarify if they are investigating allegations of sexual abuse of pupils at Crescent College which was run by the Jesuit Order from the late 1950s to the 1960s at The Crescent, Limerick City.

A spokeswoman for the Jesuit Order said it has passed on all allegations against Jesuit priests to Gardaí. She the order was aware of ten allegations of abuse by Fr Joseph Marmion against pupils at the former school in Limerick.

The Jesuit Order has publicly acknowledged it did not alert Gardai when it was first made aware in the 1970s of Marimon abusing pupils.

It has been operating a redress scheme to make out-of-court financial settlements with Marmion’s victims, but it has said it presently cannot offer details of these settlements for confidential reasons.

The Jesuit Order has paid out €7.4million in compensation to victims of abuse by Jesuits.

It is aware of 149 abuse allegations against 43 Jesuits dating back more that 80 years.

Gardaí have also not said if they plan to investigate or are actively investigating any person who had information about Marimon or any other Jesuit and who did not pass on this information to the Gardai.

Speaking in Limerick last week, well known Jesuit priest and homeless action campaigner, Fr Peter McVerry revealed he lived with Marmion for a year but he knew nothing about him abusing children.

Fr McVerry said he did not believe the Jesuit Order had a criminal case to answer but that thosewho did not alert Gardaí immediately about Marmion had a “moral case” to answer.

Gardaí made a general appeal “to anyone who wishes to make a report of a crime relating to clerical sexual abuse” to contact a dedicated Garda email address,