In March 2024 we published a blog addressing the establishment of a scoping inquiry to inform the Irish government’s response to revelations of historical sexual abuse in day and boarding schools run by religious orders, following hundreds of allegations of abuse being made by men who attended schools run by religious orders In Ireland.

The purpose of the scoping inquiry was to:

  • Set out a potential framework for the Irish Government response into historical sexual abuse in day and boarding schools run by religious orders that could also form a template for the Irish Government’s responses elsewhere.
  • And make recommendations on the scope/breadth and sequencing of such a response or modular response that will, in so far as is possible, best meet outcomes sought by survivors of historical sexual abuse and to suggest Terms of Reference for same.

Outline findings of best practice that emerge from workstreams as relevant and appropriate to future practice in the area of child protection and potential restorative justice initiatives by religious orders.

On 7 June , the Irish Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD confirmed that she had that afternoon received the Report of the Scoping Inquiry into Historical Sexual Abuse in Day and Boarding Schools Run by Religious Orders from its independent Lead, Ms. Mary O’Toole SC.

The report is noted to be a substantial body of work, comprising 26 chapters across five volumes and is over 700 pages in length. Ms Foley went on to say that  "It is clear that this extensive report is enormously detailed and some time will be required to give it careful consideration."

However, Ms Foley added that she is aware of the how important this report is to those who have participated in the survivor engagement process and to survivors generally and following consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, her next step will be to seek government approval to publish the report as soon as possible.

The publication of this report in due course will no doubt be of interest to the religious orders involved and also their insurers in terms of any potential impact it is likely to have for them.