Safeguarding - Complaints and Reporting

HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT

How do I report that I or someone known to me was abused by a priest or someone connected to the Church?

If you were abused by a priest or someone connected with the Church in the Diocese of Derry, or if you know or suspect that someone else was abused, you can report it to the Diocesan Designated Liaison Personnel (DLP), Noel O'Donnell or Celine McKenna.

They may be contacted at the Diocesan Safeguarding Office on:

From NI: (028) 71362475    From ROI: (048) 71362475


Alternatively they can be contacted on:

Noel O'Donnell:

Mobile Tel: 07596 500 793


Celine Mc Kenna: 

Mobile Tel: 07707 311 358


By E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


By Post: 

Safeguarding Office, Diocesan Pastoral Centre, 

164 Bishop Street, Derry, BT48 6UJ



Other Frequently Asked Questions...


OTHER CONTACT DETAILS:


In Northern Ireland:

  • PSNI: 101 for your local Station
  • Western Health and Social Care Trust:

028 7131 4090 (children)

028 7161 1366 (adults)

(9.00a.m. to 5.00p.m.)

  • Regional Emergency Social Work Service (RESWS): 

028 9504 9999 

(Outside of normal office hours)


In the Republic of Ireland:

  • ​An Garda Síochána:

Buncrana:    +353 7493 20540

Lifford:          +353 749141000

Letterkenny: +353 7491 67100

  • ​Garda 24 Hour Free Phone Reporting Line:

1800 555 222


  • TUSLA - Child & Family Agency:

074 9123672

Millenium Court, Pearse Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. 

(After hours - contact Garda Station)


What will happen if I report abuse?

Reporting abuse is always difficult. We will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Normally we will meet with you to hear your account of abuse. We will discuss and agree with you where the meeting should take place. We can meet you in our offices but if that is inconvenient or otherwise difficult for you we can arrange to meet in a place of your choosing.If you do not want to meet us, we will take your complaint over the phone, by letter or in an e-mail.


Can I report abuse in confidence?

Any information that you share with us will be treated with the utmost respect and only shared with the people who need to know it. We are required to share information about abuse with the civil authorities, that is, the PSNI & Gardai as well as Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, or the relevant Health and Social Care Trust. We also need to share the information with some colleagues in the Diocese. If you tell us that you were abused by a person who is still alive, we will put your complaint to that person in order to get their response to it.

We will explain all of this to you when we hear from you and before you tell us about the abuse so that you can make an informed decision about sharing your information with the us.


What support will I be offered?

We will put you in touch with Towards Healing.This is an organisation that provides a range of services to people who were abused by priests and religious and for their families. One of the services they provide is counselling. The service is free and there is no waiting list.

Noel or Celine will also keep in touch with you to let you know how the Diocese is dealing with your complaint, if that is your wish. Alternatively, you will be offered the assistance of a Support Person to accompany you through the process of dealing with your complaint if that is your preference.


What if I do not want to report abuse to the Diocese?

You can take your complaint directly to the PSNI/Gardai or to Tulsa, the Child and Family Agency (ROI) or the relevant Health and Social Care Trust (NI). These Telephone Numbers are listed above. If you are unsure who to approach we can assist you with this.

If the allegation relates to church personnel in the Diocese of Derry, it would be helpful if you let us know that you have reported this matter to the PSNI/Gardai.


What if the person that abused me was not a priest or in any way connected with the Church?

If you are having any difficulty finding out who you should contact, we will be happy to advise you.

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