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  1. ITV Report

Salford Diocese to be sued over sexual abuse claims at school

Ex-pupils at the Whalley Range school say they suffered a range of abuse by priests Photo: Manchester Evening News Syndication

Survivors of alleged child abuse within the Catholic Church are taking their former diocese to court after allegations of an institutional cover-up going back decades.

The allegations date back to the 1950s at St Bede's School in Whalley Range, Manchester.

At the time it had a reputation for being one of the finest Catholic grammar schools in the north west.

The allegations relate to three senior figures.

Monsignor Thomas Duggan, Father Charles Mulholland and Father Vincent Hamilton.

They died before being brought to justice, but the survivors are now taking out a civil case against the Diocese of Salford for what they say is a failure to protect them from abuse.

One complainant said it was "difficult to believe" other priests at the diocese were unaware of what was happening to some of the boys.

But he said he was speaking to police and lawyers because he hoped that he "can play even a small role in minimising future clerical abuse and cover-ups".

The case is expected to reach the High Court in the summer.

St Bede's is now a co-educational Catholic day school.

A spokesperson from the Diocese of Salford said:

"The Diocese of Salford is aware that a case is due to be heard before the High Court later this year. We are deeply saddened by the allegations of abuse from the 1950's, which are against everything we stand for.

"We wish to reiterate that the health, safety and wellbeing of every child is always our absolute priority and that all appropriate current safeguarding measures are in place.

"It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage on matters before the court."

– Spokesperson from the Diocese of Salford