“I’m No Witch, I’m A Catholic”


00119318 (l-r) Bernie Smyth, Kathy Sinnott, Dana Rosemary Scallon

An anti-abortion protester accused of behaving like a witch told a Belfast court: “I’m no witch, I’m a Catholic”.

Bernadette Smyth, who leads the anti-abortion group Precious Life, was replying to a prosecution lawyer.

Mrs Smyth, of Suffolk Street, Ballymena, County Antrim, denies harassing Marie Stopes clinic director Dawn Purvis.

The lawyer suggested she had laughed at Ms Purvis in a “cackling, jeering, mocking way, in a witch’s manner.”

Ms Smyth replied: “I can’t agree with this court that I’m a witch. I’m a Catholic.”

The case concerns two incidents involving the accused that happened outside the Marie Stopes Clinic, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, in January and February.

The case continues.

Catholic of the Year 2013, awarded by the Knights of St. Columbanus no less.

It’s not a Golden Cleric but it’s a start.

Bernadette Smyth tells court: ‘I’m no witch, I’m a Catholic’ (BBC News NI)

Charge of harassing former MLA a set-up says pro-life lobbyist (Irish News)

Previously: Bernie Smyth on Broadsheet

File Pic: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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28 thoughts on ““I’m No Witch, I’m A Catholic”

  1. Clampers Outside!

    Spanner with notions about spirits and super beings struggles to see difference between in the “manner” of something and actually ‘being’ something.

    So far up her own hole in fairness…. sad little people.

    1. realPolithicks

      She is a follower of an omniscient fairy being, which is actually three beings, one of which is it’s own zombie son. Whether on not she is a witch is the least of her problems.

  2. Anne

    I think a good dunking in a lake and a wash out of her potty mouth should cure her of any Witcheyness leanings towards harassment…

      1. Anne

        That is a horrendous looking thing!

        Most chillingly “It continued in use until the early 1800s as a punishment in German workhouses”

  3. huppenstop

    Incantations, sacred potions, belief in supernatural influence. Witch, Catholic, there really is a lot of overlap.

  4. phil

    Thats surprising , why would anyone suspect that a Devout Catholic with pro life beliefs , would behave in any other way than expressing forgiveness and love for fellow human beings, you know… like how Jesus would behave ….

  5. Spaghetti Hoop

    Ha! Plenty of “cackling, jeering and mocking” around here from time to time.

    As to this case, the harassment card is quite a tired, dog-eared one at this stage.

    1. Sidewinder

      Yeah, why do people who get harassed persist in complaining about it when they we’re sick of hearing about it?

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Wasn’t implying I was sick hearing about them at all at all. There are genuine harassment cases, and they deserve investigation. Have you read the two reports associated with this post?

        1. Sidewinder

          I’ve read a lot more than the two reports associated with this post as the case has serious implications for the welfare of people using the clinic.

          Neither of these are particularly seriously written pieces as Smyth is such a ridiculous character. However that does not mean she is not guilty of harassment. And I think you’ll find it’s up to the courts and not you to determine what is and is not “genuine harassment”.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            “She appeared to be growling.”
            “When I say (she was) growling I can’t say I actually heard her, it was like a snarl of her mouth.”
            “I can’t agree with this court that I’m a witch. I’m a Catholic.”

            Their courts will handle it as you say.

          2. Sidewinder

            The courts have no control over what witnesses in the court say or how ineloquently they say it. Again, does not delegitimise the case.

  6. Jordofthejungle

    Despite Smyth’s allure for the Knights, prominent Catholic pro-lifers have made Herculean attempts to keep her profile low here given that she doesn’t do much for the stereotype of the seething religiously motivated anti-abortion activist.

    They have been somewhat successful in curbing Smyth’s base, militant activism and bottom of the barrel debating style allowing more canny activists to take centre stage in the vein of Cora Sherlock skilled in the art of spin, superficial platitudes and the denial of religion as their main animus. Suffice it to say you won’t see Smyth joining the lovely “young wans” pushed up to the top of the vigils for “life”. She’ll be more likely bound and gagged, stored with the temporarily confiscated religious iconography with Cora bleating about her version of “human rights”. Senator Ronan Mullen did much the same sidelining Justin Barrett who again didn’t do much for the image of the pro-life cause.

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