Fr Robert Claffy
Fr Robert Claffey, Catholic priest worked in various parishes in western Victoria between 1969 and 1992 is reported to have committed offences of child sexual abuse upon more than 14 victims during the period of 1969 and 1992.
Fr Claffey was known to have groomed parents and children in the parish by visiting the families at their homes and establishing trust between himself and the his victims.
Victims were abused whilst Fr Claffey was under the supervision of Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who was the bishop of Ballarat from 1971 to 1997. In the criminal proceedings against Fr Claffey in July 2015, Bishop Mulkearns gave evidence that Claffey was one of the priests under his supervision and that he recalls that Fr Claffey had “been misbehaving…in a sexual way”.
Fr Claffey had been positioned in parish churches in the Diocese of Ballarat, and during this time he was also given the role of Chaplain at primary schools such as Mar McKillop School in Portland. Below are the parishes Fr Claffey served in:
· St Thomas’s Parish (Terang);
· St Joseph’s Parish, Warrnambool;
· Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Apollo Bay;
· Wendouris Parish, Ballarat; and
· All Saints Parish, Portland .
We have acted for victims of Fr Claffey in their claims for compensation against the Diocese of Ballarat.