Irish bishops meet abuse victims - 'the first step of many steps'

An historic meeting took place  at St Patrick's College,  Maynooth yesterday (Wednesday) between the Irish Bishops' Conference and  representatives from four abuse survivors groups: Soca Ireland (Survivors of Child Abuse), the Cork-based Right of Place, the Alliance group, and Right to Peace.

Describing the meeting as "a very momentous, very historic occasion",  John Kelly from Soca Ireland said the survivors groups had given a full account of their experiences to the bishops, which must have been "very hard to listen to".

Lasting more than two hours, a number of issues were discussed, including the development of ongoing support for survivors, and outreach to elderly homeless survivors in England.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said:  "it was the most significant meeting I have ever attended in that room. It was extraordinary".

Cardinal Seán Brady described the meeting as "the first step of many steps'.