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The Authorised Signatory for the Garda Vetting Bureau is

Mrs. Bridgetta Clifford.

Address :  

The Parish Office,
St. Patrick's Road,
Co. Donegal,
F93 EY27

Telephone Number :   (074) 9363108
Office hours:   Tuesday & Wednesday:  9am - 5pm;
    Thursday: 9am - 1pm


Let the children come to me; do not stop them;…..” Then he put his arms around them, laid his hands on them and gave them blessing.” (Mk 10:14, 16)

These words of Jesus reveal his tender and gentle attitude to children and to all those who are vulnerable. This attitude of Jesus is the foundation for all the work of the Derry Diocesan Child Protection Committee. The Committee values and encourages the active participation of children and young people in the life of the Church. It also endeavours to ensure that each child and young persons’ fundamental right to be respected, nurtured, cared for and protected is upheld in accordance with the teaching of the Gospel and civil legislation. This will be achieved through the development of ‘best practice’ in the area of child protection, ensuring the well-being of children and young people involved in any Church related activity.

Mary McCafferty
Derry Diocesan Child Protection Committee

“The Diocese of Derry is committed to ‘best practice’ in the safeguarding of children, particularly when involved in Church activities. To this end, I commend the work of the diocesan committees and all those working at diocesan and parish level to bring the caring attitude of Christ to children. May the peace and joy of Jesus Christ be with you”.

Most Rev. Seamus Hegarty
Bishop of Derry

Mission Statement

The Diocese of Derry values and encourages the participation of children and young people in parish liturgies and in activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development. We recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all these individuals within our ‘faith family’ and we are committed to their protection and support in a way that promotes their human dignity and integrity as ‘children of God’.

In keeping with this ethos, we undertake to do all in our power in the Diocese of Derry to create safe environments for children and young people, and to ensure their protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

We acknowledge that all involved in working with children and young people have a special duty of care towards them, and we undertake to put in place policies and procedures through which this care is put into effect so that their rights as active participants in the life of the Church are upheld.

Child Protection Services

The policies and procedures outlined in Safeguarding Children, the standards and guidance document issued by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, indicate the importance of a collaborative approach to the whole area of child protection. In support of this a number of structures and personnel have been put in place in the diocese.

Derry Diocesan Child Protection Committee

The Derry Diocesan Child Protection Committee is appointed by the Diocesan Bishop. The Committee works independently, developing, directing and managing all aspects of policy development, training and support for parishes with the diocesan Church. Committee members are drawn from the four deanery areas of the diocese and they bring to this role experience from education, law, psychology, counselling, parish ministry and social work.

Areas of Responsibility

• Developing and implementing diocesan guidelines to promote child protection and welfare within parish ministry and pastoral activities in keeping with statutory and Church guidelines.
• Ensuring that the planning and delivery of a training strategy for all Church personnel is carried out.
• Assisting parishes in the application of the guidelines
• Liaising with the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church and with statutory authorities
• Ensuring that referral mechanisms following complaints of abuse are made known within the diocese through training and awareness sessions.
• Ensuring that pastoral care supports for victims of abuse and others affected by abuse are made known within the diocese through training and awareness sessions
• Liaising appropriately with the Advisory Case Management Committee
• Reviewing the work of the Derry Diocese Child Protection Committee, Co-ordinator and Trainers
• Overseeing an annual audit of child protection in parishes throughout the Derry diocese
• Regularly reviewing the work carried out by, and on behalf of the Committee and producing an annual report of this activity
• Liaising with the Diocesan Bishop to ensure recommendations of the review report are implemented.

A new diocesan policy is being drawn up to meet the requirements of the recent Safeguarding Children document. This uniform policy will be the bench mark for all parishes in the diocese.

Child Protection Office/Co-ordinators

and Trainers

There is a Child Protection Office in the Pastoral Centre in Derry city. There are two diocesan Child Protection Trainers. They have completed the ‘Keeping Safe Programme’, devised and monitored by the Volunteer Development Agency in Belfast. They work on behalf of the Committee, facilitating the training of all Church personnel in child protection policies and procedures. They assist parishes and other Church organisations within the diocese to apply the guidelines through information sessions and ongoing support. The Co-ordinator of Child Protection assists the Committee in the overall development and implementation of diocesan and national guidelines.

Parish Representatives

Each parish has one or more Parish Representatives, who help develop awareness of ‘best practice’ issues in working with children and young people in Church settings. The representatives work in their parishes to help disseminate information on national guidelines, diocesan policies and procedures. The representatives also ensure that contact information for child protection personnel is made known within the parish. An audit is carried out annually of the child protection policies and procedures in each parish and how they are being developed and implemented. This is part of an ongoing commitment to reviewing and improving ‘best practice’.

As part of our commitment to ensuring the well-being and protection of children and young people, all personnel involved in ministry with children and young people in the diocese of Derry are subject to vetting procedures.

(Northern Ireland: AccessNI and R.O.I: Garda vetting as available)

Reporting Procedures

There are four main types of child abuse as outlined in Children First and Co-operating to Safeguard Children:

• Neglect
• Emotional abuse
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
Reporting to Statutory Authorities

If you or anyone you know has a child protection concern or wishes to report an allegation of child abuse directly to the statutory authorities, please contact the PSNI/Gardai or the local Health and/or Social Services and ask to speak to the Duty Social Worker. Contact numbers are displayed at the back of all Parish Churches.

Reporting to Church Authorities

If you or anyone you know has a child protection concern or wishes to report an allegation of child abuse directly to the Church authorities in relation to any member of Church personnel, please contact one of the following diocesan designated persons.

Rev. John Farren
Tel : NI (0035374) 9384037
Tel : ROI (074) 9384037

Mrs. Mary McCafferty
Tel : NI (028) 7136 2475
Tel : ROI (048) 7136 2475

These guidelines have been drawn up to meet the standards of Safeguarding Children, the standards and guidance document issued by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.