News and Events



Towards Peace staff, spiritual companions and Board members are in Cork this month, meeting with social services which support survivors of abuse, and speaking at parishes within the Diocese of Cork and Ross.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation has released a notice about the findings of a test excavation at the site of the Children’s Burial Ground / Memorial Garden located in the Dublin Road Housing Estate, Tuam, Co. Galway.  A Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home operated there from 1925-1961.  The notice can be found here.

Pope Francis has requested all Bishops’ Conferences around the world to organise a dedicated Day of Prayer for survivors and victims of clerical sexual abuse on the first Friday of Lent, which is Friday 3rd March.  This Day of Prayer will take place in Ireland.


The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has issued its report, which can be found here.

Colleen Brown has returned from Leave to Towards Peace as Administration & Development Coordinator.  We already miss Jennifer Connor and are very grateful to her for her excellent work over the past nine months.



October – December

We have been raising awareness of Towards Peace in the Galway diocese both within the Church and in the wider community.  It is planned to promote Towards Peace in the Cork diocese in early 2017.


Towards Peace Policies and Procedures are now available on our website.


Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Paddy Carberry has needed to resign from the Board.  Paddy has been with Towards Peace since its inception and his compassion and expertise will be sorely missed. We wish him well.

Towards Peace continues to recruit additional Spiritual Companions and Supervisors for Spiritual Companions.


Towards Peace, along with Towards Healing, provided an input to the conference of the SBNI (Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland), ‘Working Together to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children and Young People’, in Ballymena, Co. Antrim.

Interviews are ongoing to recruit both Spiritual Companions and Supervisiors for our panels. 


Una Allen, Director of Towards Peace, attended a one week training course on ‘Supervision for Spiritual Directors’ in St. Buenos Centre, North Wales. 

We are continuing to update our Policies and Procedures.


Jennifer Connor has begun work with Towards Peace, providing Maternity Cover for Colleen Brown, Administration & Development Coordinator.


Towards Peace has begun to recruit additional Spiritual Companions, and Supervisors for Spiritual Companions.


Happy New Year to all.  This month has been a busy one for the Towards Peace office and Board as we set our service development goals for 2016.  We are in the process of developing our Policies and Procedures and our panel of Spiritual Companions.




All at Towards Peace wish you a Christmas and New Year season surrounded by love and hope.  The Towards Peace office will close 23rd December and re-open 11th January.


Una Allen, Director of Towards Peace, spoke at the 10-12 November CSAS (Catholic Safeguarding Service) Conference – “From Darkness to Light: How the Church is responding to the abuse crisis” – at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire, England.  Una’s presentation was entitled: “Is spiritual peace possible after abuse by Church personnel?”

On 2 November, the Towards Peace team (Board, staff, spiritual companions) gathered for a Day of Prayer & Reflection.  The theme was focused on Towards Peace as a service and how it can best be of service with / to  survivors of abuse by Catholic Church personnel in Ireland.


Our leaflet has now been updated: Towards Peace Leaflet Sept 2015 Update.  By the end of this month we hope to have distributed it to each of the 26 diocese on the island and to over 30 services for survivors of abuse.


We hope you are enjoying our updated website!

Andrew Fagan has been elected Vice Chair of the Board of Towards Peace.


Information about Towards Peace was provided within an Archdiocese of Dublin safeguarding event on 12th June 2015.  For Irish Times coverage, click here.  For UTV coverage, click here

Sr. Marianne O’Connor has been elected Chair of the Board of Towards Peace.


Events about available supports for survivors, with input from Towards Healing and Towards Peace, were held within safeguarding communities in the Diocese of Kilmore on 12th May 2015, and in the Diocese of Dromore and Down & Connor on 28th May 2015.


An information session about Towards Peace was held within the safeguarding community in the Diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise on 15th April 2015.


An information session about Towards Peace was held within the safeguarding community in the Diocese of Ossory on 4th March 2015.


Three new lay Board members have joined the Board of Towards Peace: Ann Caulfield, Andrew Fagan and Rachel Mooney.


At the request of her congregation, Sr. Mary Whyte has moved on from Towards Peace.  Towards Peace is tremendously grateful for the three years of hard work that Sr. Mary gave to the development of the service.




Information sessions about Towards Peace were held within the safeguarding communities in the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin on 3rd December 2014, and in the Diocese of Ferns on 10th December 2014.  Click here to read the opening remarks at the Ferns event by Bishop Denis Brennan.


Mrs. Una Allen and Mrs. Colleen Brown have been appointed as Towards Peace part-time staff, as Director and Administration & Development Coordinator.


Towards Peace was launched in the West (Knock, Co. Mayo) on 3rd June 2014.  Click here for the address of Mr. Frank McGuinness, Director of Safeguarding Children in the Diocese of Elphin.  Click here for the address of Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam.


Towards Peace was launched in the South (St. Joseph’s Church, Wilton, Cork) on 25th May 2014, following a Concelebrated Mass for Healing & Reconciliation, organised by the Munster Survivors Support Service and the Safeguarding Service of the Diocese of Cork & Ross.  Click here to read the homily of Fr. Liam O’Driscoll during the Mass.  Click here to read the address of Mrs. Una Allen, Chairperson of Towards Peace and click here to read the address of Bishop John Buckley, Bishop of Cork & Ross, at the launch.



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