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Statement from the Franciscan Province of Ireland
21st November 2022

We, the friars of the Franciscan Province of Ireland, apologise unreservedly to any child or young person who was abused whilst in our care, either in our school, Franciscan College, Gormanston, or in other ministry settings.

Provincial's Foreword

Every Franciscan learns about living the Gospel by reflecting on the enduring example of St. Francis of Assisi. His eyes were opened to teach him that Gospel-living demanded that he be a "brother to all" and that in doing so that he must become a "lesser brother" who would never use any human force to harm another person.

Being a "brother to all" highlights the "fraternal" dimension of Franciscan life. While being a "lesser brother" reminds us that we must live with humility in relationship to the entire created order, especially those who are vulnerable or in need.

Aidan McGrath, OFM

Minister Provincial


We invite anyone who may have been abused by a Franciscan, living, former or deceased,
and who has never come forward to do so, in order that they can receive help and support.
Franciscan Province of Ireland

Safeguarding Children

Policy & Procedure Handbook 2023

This Handbook contains the Standards and Guidance in relation to safeguarding children within the Franciscan Province of Ireland. As such, it is a concrete expression of our commitment as Franciscans.

The Franciscan Province of Ireland recognises and promotes the fundamental rights of every child and young person to a safe environment in which he/she will be free from any form of abuse, neglect, or harm. We will do all that is within our power to prevent any form of abuse and respond appropriately if abuse concerns arise.

To build a safe and secure environment, Franciscan friars, staff, and volunteers always strive to be child centered in their practice and behaviour and acknowledge their obligation to promote the well being of all children and young people and safeguard them from harm.

Safeguarding Standards

The Gospel teaches the importance of ensuring that the Catholic Church community is a warm, welcoming and safe place for children.

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Mark 10:14-15)

Children are gifts from God, to be cherished and recognised for the joyful contribution they make as valued members of the Church.

Our challenge is to follow the example of Jesus in cherishing them. Safeguarding is key to this important task and should be seen, not as a burden, but as an opportunity to embrace and encourage children's ministry, following the example of Jesus Christ.

This Church body pledges to safeguard children and young people from harm and to support them in their development as valued and integral members of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The Church's ministry will be inclusive and will uphold their rights.

Consistent with Gospel values, and with civil and criminal law, those who minister will do so with dignity and integrity, honouring their calling to ensure that children and young people are welcomed, cherished and protected, following the example set by Jesus.

This Safeguarding Children Policy will be honoured and complied with by all ordained clerics, by vowed female and male religious, and by all lay staff and volunteers in the Catholic Church in Ireland

Aidan McGrath, OFM

Minister Provincial