Group of Castleknock alumni mistakenly forwarded abuse accusation to mailing list


The Castleknock College Alumni Union accidentally forwarded an email from a former student, accusing a priest who previously worked at the school of child abuse, to their entire mailing list.

The West Dublin Pay School alumni group apologized for passing the email on to its members, which they called “human error”.

Last Friday, the group emailed former students about media reports of allegations of sexual abuse by two priests of the Vincentian Order, which runs the boys’ high school.

The e-mail from the former students’ union said it was “deeply concerned” over recent media reports, and had “expressed concern” to Father Paschal Scallon, president of Castleknock College and provincial of the Vincentian order.

“The union extends its deep solidarity to anyone who suffered abuse while a student at Castleknock College,” the email read.

The email was sent by Castleknock Alumni Group President Johnny Lynch.

Accuse individuals

In his email, he cautioned former students against accusing individuals of abuse, or violating the anonymity of survivors, in any discussion on social media.

“We understand the importance of forums like WhatsApp or Facebook during lockdown as a means of communication,” Lynch said.

“However, it is important that those who have suffered abuse see their anonymity protected and that no innocent person is wrongly accused or implicated in abuse, so call on all elders to be thoughtful and sensitive when using platforms. social media or open discussion forums. ”

Mr Lynch said the union “does not have the expertise to offer professional support,” but called on all abuse survivors to contact the Vincentian Order or other support services.

In response, a former student sent an email to the group of former students naming another priest who had worked in the school for 20 years, accusing him of allegedly abusing children.

The union then forwarded this email to its entire mailing list.

‘Sent in error’

In a statement to the Irish Times, a spokeswoman for the alumni union confirmed that the email was forwarded to its members due to “human error”.

“The union is not aware of the information contained in the content that was sent in error,” she said. “The union estimates that a relatively small proportion of union recipients read the email that was sent in error. However, if The Irish Times were to publish an account of this error, it will mean that most union members will read the content sent in error, ”she said.

Any media reporting of the error would increase the potential for “unfair damage to reputation,” the spokesperson said. “It is considered that any expansion of the readership of content sent in error could have these impacts,” she said.


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