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Irish bishops set up child protection office

The Irish bishops' conference has announced that it is to set up a child protection office and a bishops' committee on child protection.

The Tablet reports that the first director of the child protection office is to be a layman, Paul Bailey, a former president of the Irish Association of Care Workers.

The bishops' committee, chaired by the Dublin auxiliary bishop, Eamonn Walsh, will review and update the 1996 guidelines Child Abuse: framework for a church response.

The bishops have also commissioned a research project on child sexual abuse from the psychology department of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The research team is expected to publish its report in early 2003.