Jesuits engage independent facilitators in abuse case

April 26, 2021 in Featured News, News

The Irish Jesuits have engaged two independent Restorative Justice Facilitators to co-design restorative processes, through direct engagement, with those who have been impacted by Joseph Marmion’s abuse. They will also facilitate these processes.

Barbara Walshe and Catherine O’Connell have worked extensively both as practitioners and as academics in the advancement of restorative justice processes. They have worked in various contexts including with survivors of institutional abuse. Their starting point is a wish to engage directly with survivors, victims, and those who are impacted. Restorative processes have many different options to ensure that each person who wishes to participate is satisfied that it is safe to do so.

Statement from the Irish Jesuit Provincial. 

Irish Jesuit Provincial Leonard Moloney says that “In engaging the independent facilitators we have placed the direction and control of what happens next outside of the Jesuit Order, whilst committing to do all that we can, as co-participants, to make the processes as effective as possible.”

The Provincial says that “Although we Jesuits have committed to opening ourselves to these processes, we are purposely not involved in creating a methodology. I know that if what happens from here is to achieve the outcomes people hope for, it must be led by the people who were abused and impacted by abuse.”

The Jesuits commit to the processes so that the full story of Jesuit knowledge, actions, and omissions will be told and that answers will be provided to all questions that have been brought forward on foot of the naming of Joseph Marmion.

“In our preparation for our participation, the knowledge of Jesuits who worked alongside Joseph Marmion in Belvedere, Clongowes, Crescent, Gardiner Street is being gathered and collated,” according to Fr Moloney. “Our determination is that the truth be told as far as is humanly possible, whilst also taking account of the personal privacy rights of the many people who have spoken to us of their abusive experiences and of others who have spoken of how they are impacted. Our first duty is towards those who are suffering. We believe the most appropriate means of fulfilling that duty is through these survivor-led processes.”

In light of this development, the Jesuits are inviting people who have been impacted to initiate contact with the independent facilitators. They will be available from Monday, 26 April 2021.  For more detailed information on the restorative processes, the facilitators, and their contact details click here »

The Jesuit Safeguarding Office is also getting in touch with those who have contacted them since the naming of Joseph Marmion in early March. They are providing them with information and contact details regarding this new development. The contacts are essential to enable these restorative processes to happen.

If anyone is concerned about any issue of abuse they can contact the Jesuit Safeguarding Office, email: [email protected]


Following the naming of Joseph Marmion, the Jesuits brought in extra support in an effort to respond to each person who had been in touch.

Some of those in contact have been direct victims of sexual abuse, others have been victims of physical or emotional abuse. Still others have either been witness to abuse or otherwise impacted by the abuse or harm suffered by a friend or family member. There were also those who expressed concern that a relative might have been a victim of Joseph Marmion.  As required, the Jesuit Safeguarding Office has been liaising with and reporting to the Gardai and relevant authorities.

It was clear from those in contact that they wanted a robust process to address the truth of what happened and how it was allowed to happen.

This initiative was established as a result. It begins its work on Monday 26th April.