Bishop Boyce hits out at reports that hundreds of children were abused in Raphoe

The Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, has hit out at reports today that hundreds of children were abused in his diocese as inaccurate.

Today's Irish Independent reports that 20 priests abused hundreds of children in the Raphoe diocese over forty years.

The Irish Independent states today that a report by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic church into the Raphoe Diocese will highlight hundreds of cases of abuse by 20 priests based in the Diocese over a forty year period .

But in response today, Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Phillip Boyce said that todays Irish Independent report was inaccurate, misleading and not in the public interest.

He also said that he intends to complain about the matter.

Bishop Boyce said he was shocked to a sentence in the article which claimed that there were hundreds and hundreds of victims, and they were abused again and again, while the church actively prevented investigations by the civil authorities.

The Bishop of Raphoe said he wished to assure the people of Raphoe that this assertion was simply not true.

He said that all allegations of abuse made known to the Diocese of Raphoe were and are reported to the Gardai and HSE.

Bishop Boyce concluded that he invited Ian Elliott and his team from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church to conduct a review of the diocesan files relating to child abuse allegations in Raphoe.

He says he gave his full co-operation and they examined all files.

Bishop Boyce said the report would probably be released in the next month and that he was committed to publishing it.