You’ll remember that the glorious leader promised a debate this week on the subject of IRA abuse claims? Well, this week’s Oireachtas schedule shows no such thing.
Puzzled, I rang the FG press office and spoke to a nice young man called Stephen who told me the debate would take place next week as they were having trouble framing the language as the issue was ‘legally sensitive’. Further to this, I was informed by another source within Leinster House that the debate was pulled from the schedule last week directly after a cabinet meeting attended by the Attorney General. I rang back the FG press office to see if I could get this confirmed and funny enough, no answer.
[From top: Taoiseach Enda Kenny meets Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday, and later stands next to Cardinal Seán Brady as he was interviewed on RTÉ's Six One News last night]
Yesterday Pope Francis declared John Paul II and John XXIII as saints in St Peter’s Square in Rome.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny attended the ceremony and met with Pope Francis afterwards, during which he invited the pontiff to Ireland.
Afterwards, Mr Kenny was interviewed by RTÉ.
During this interview, he stood next to Cardinal Seán Brady, who was given names and addresses of children who were being abused, or who were at risk of being abused, by Fr Brendan Smyth, in 1975, but failed to ensure they were protected.
Mr Kenny told Six One:
“I have to say that I invited him to Ireland and, while it’s not an official responsibility of the Government, I did say that if the church authorities extended an invitation and that he’s willing to travel, the Government will see to it that everything is done to make that visit a real success.”
Meanwhile, RTÉ journalist Tony Connolly reported:
“Controversy surrounds both men [John Paul II and John XXIII], particularly John Paul the second, who faced criticism over his handling of clerical sex abuse cases. However, the church insists that it’s their very humanity in itself which is a prerequisite for sainthood.
You may recall the investigation in April by the Children’s Ombudsman into the HSE’s neglect of a 10-year-old rape victim, Maggie.
Philip Boucher-Hayes writes:
Emma is eleven now, her parents are estranged and she would frequently return to her mum from overnight visits to her father with unexplained rashes, and disturbed/withdrawn behaviour.
Emma made a disclosure of abuse to her mother, she made the same disclosure to her GP, her teacher and the gardaí. This little girl never once changed her story.
As you know the DPP seldom pursues prosecutions in this area largely because the evidence and testimony of young children is viewed as unreliable. But in Emma’s case the DPP decided to prosecute.
….Just as in Maggie’s case [see link below], for whatever reason some officials in the HSE decided that Emma’s mother was a bigger problem than this apparent open and shut case of child abuse. They recommended against Garda advice that the father be allowed to resume access visits.
Emma’s mum was forced to go through the agony of sending her children, she says against their will, to stay overnight with their father … from where she would get text messages that would break the heart of any parent. This is a transcript of my interview with her.
Mother: “So the girls had a phone when the first went to stay with him. And they’d text me “I’m crying. I don’t want to be here”. They just didn’t want to go down to him and I had to force them to go down because I was told if I didn’t send them I’d be arrested. And that would be exactly what he would want, me being arrested and being found not to be a fit mother.”
PBH:“Was Emma abused again?”
Mother:“Yes she was. On two occasions that I know of…. that I have seen the physical manifestations of the abuse again, yes. One of them she had to have a rape examination in the children’s hospital. She had an anal infection, and they found pubic hair.”
PBH:“So there was a wealth of forensic and medical evidence supporting claims of abuse for the hospital to pass on to the HSE? Did they act on it?”
Mother: No they didn’t. They had a meeting and they decided that they weren’t going to act on it because it had come from me.
PBH:“It was medical evidence of abuse.”
Mother:“My opinion on it is that they have made a grave grave mistake, and I’ve told them so. I said that I would hold them responsible, and I will until I get an apology for Emma.”
PBH:In your opinion did they directly expose Emma to the risk of being raped?
Mother: “Yes … Yes … I am absolutely sure that they did. They had a wealth of people that they could contact. They never did. They spoke to the wrong teacher in her school. I alerted them to that. They still didn’t care. I wrote into them all the times they were making a mistake.”
“But every time I did the risk was that I would have them taken off me, and I was afraid. I had to way up the fact that if I did they’d be given to him …. or I could just keep my mouth shut … and I’ve had to do that. …. It’s absolutely eating me.
The lesson I had learned from society up to that point was that this behaviour was something that had to be endured. I could fill this entire column with unpleasant anecdotes. Before you roll your eyes, and mutter that I have simply been unfortunate, managing to encounter every deviant in Ireland, understand one thing: my experiences are not uncommon. If anything, they are the norm. I recently raised this subject with a number of female friends and every single woman had a story to tell of sexist abuse and assault. Tellingly, no one used the word assault and no one had ever reported a single instance of abuse.
More than 70 per cent of the brothers in the St John of God order are suspected child abusers and Sydney Archbishop George Pell should immediately shut the order down, says a psychologist employed by the order to meet with its scores of abuse victims.
Almost 200 victims have sought compensation after alleging they were abused in special schools and homes run by the brothers in Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand.
Last week, a Melbourne inquiry into child abuse heard allegations that brothers had drugged and pack-raped boys at their facilities in Victoria.
The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) today released seven reports into four dioceses and three religious congregations.
It looked at 330 allegations of abuse involving 146 clerics.
The audit into the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Ireland concluded:
“Two basic principles underpin the current Church safeguarding policies in force in the Catholic Church in Ireland today. They are that children should be protected from harm and those that cause harm to them or allow it to happen, should be held accountable for their actions. The investigation of the child protection practice in this religious community is an excellent example of why those principles are now in place in the Church in Ireland, and why they must be adhered to by everyone within the Church without exception.”
The Missionairies of The Sacred Heart (MSC) , which ran the former boys’ boarding school Colaiste and Chroi Naofa in Carrignavar, Co Cork.
the NBSCC noted: On July 16, 2011 Senator Mark Daly used Seanad privilege to reveal allegations of abuse at a Cork boarding school. The Sacred Heart made a statement the following day, saying all allegations had been sent to authorities.
In a short time, this turned out not to be the case.
The NBSCC also found files containing records of priests admitting abuse were not sent to Gardai or HSE.
There were gaps in case files and, in some cases, documentation of meetings were missing.
It was decided the MSH would be given a week to search for missing documents while the NBSCC suspended their review for a week.
But this proved unsuccessful and no new records were found in that week.
The case files that were present showed there were allegations against 17 alleged perpetrators.
Nine of the 17 have admitted to abuse.
Six of the 17 have died and three have left the priesthood.
Of the 17 – six worked at the Cork boarding school (Colaiste an Chroi Naofa in Carrignavar) although not all at the same time.
The MSC also had a boarding school in England where allegations were made against one priest, who later worked in Colaiste an Chroi Naofa.
He was subsequently moved to the Midlands, where more allegations were made against him.
He was tried and convicted and served time. He [understood to be Tadgh O’Dalaigh} is no longer a priest.
The total number of victims is unknown but the number is growing.
One victim of abuse died by suicide and in his file it was noted the abuse was “a contributing factor if not the main cause of his death”.
One victim was warned that if he persisted with his allegation, legal action would be initiated.
Peter Preston, who has been protesting outside Leinster House off and on since 2006 (claiming a political cover-up relating to the State’s neglect of children in its care) meets Enda on Merrion Road, Kildare Street, Dublin, this afternoon.