An international lawyer has said the recent scandal involving the Spiritan congregation in Ireland is “just the tip of the iceberg” as she is currently investigating potential cases involving 70 other men who allege they were abused at schools under its control.
Dr Ann Olivarius, a solicitor who has represented victims of sexual abuse in the US and UK, has now registered to practise in Ireland and has joined forces with Pearse Mehigan & Co solicitors in Dublin.
A significant number of the cases that Dr Olivarius is reviewing relate to Blackrock College in south Dublin. “We are deep into investigating one case now where the details of abuse are horrific,” she told the Irish Independent. “It involved terrible violence. It was over a time period that went on for a couple of years and by a number of different Spiritan priests.”
Dr Olivarius, who has dual American and British citizenship, was due to start practising in Ireland much sooner until Brexit scuppered her plans. She is now intent on bringing justice for her clients.
“The currency of justice is money. That’s what people need. They’ve lost marriages, they are mentally upset, they drink, they gamble. These are the things that happen when you are abused. People shouldn’t be apologising for seeking funds when the church has money in abundance. That’s what we owe to these people.”