‘There Was A Body Of Information That Was Well Known To People’


Letter in Belfast Telegraph threes week ago

This morning.

Following an interview on RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke…

The Irish News reports:

Mary McAleese says her youngest brother was “seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finegan” at St Colman’s College in Newry.

The paedophile cleric has been accused of a catalogue of sexual and physical abuse against boys on church premises and at the school. He was never questioned by police or prosecuted and he died in 2002.

Fr Finegan worked in St Colman’s from 1967 and was president of the college from 1976 to 1987.

Speaking on RTÉ radio Mrs McAleese said her “baby brother”, who will celebrate his 50th birthday next year, had been abused by the priest for the entire time he attended the school.

“My baby brother, the youngest of nine children, was seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finegan.

The former president said four of her five brothers went to the school “and my wonderful, beautiful, and as you can image the youngest of a family, so incredibly loved by all of us, to think that he suffered and never felt that he could tell anyone”.

My mother, almost 90 years of age, had to discover that from the Belfast Telegraph three weeks ago.”

In the clip above, Mrs McAleese told RTE:

“The very first complaints about Malachy Finnegan go back to the 1970s, not the 1990s at all, but go back to the 1970s which means there was a body of information that was well known to people who were in a position to do something about it but didn’t.”

Mary McAleese says youngest brother was abused by Fr Malachy Finegan (The Irish News)

McAleese calls for independent inquiry into handling of Finnegan abuse (RTE)

Pic: RTE and Brendan Hughes

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33 thoughts on “‘There Was A Body Of Information That Was Well Known To People’

  1. On The Buses

    McAleese should want nothing to do with the church. Let alone be lobbying to get women higher roles in the church, she should be lobbying for that disgraceful organisation to be made illegal in Ireland.

  2. Andrew

    Anyone who believes in Christianity but wants a church that ordains women priests among other changes should become an Anglican. It seems the obvious thing to do.
    What’s the problem with doing that?

      1. Cian

        @dav: How so?
        The RC church is just a load of BS rules that almost completely obscures the message of Jesus.

        Martin Luther was correct in many of the failings of the RC church (and most of these are still relevant today). The various protestant churches are a lot closer to Jesus’s message than RC.

        1. Brucely

          If you’ve been indoctrinated from birth to believe that organisation A has the only direct link to a deity and all the other organisations are misguided and doomed then just switching organisations is a bigger decision that switching broadband providers, even if organisation A annoys you. Being an annoying campaigner for change is an easier option though outsiders won’t always see it that way.

        2. dav

          @Cian She’s Catholic, she want’s to remain Catholic. She want’s to improve her own church by getting it to change. She doesn’t want to leave her own church, she want’s it to grow up and stop hating women. Maybe the easier path would be to leave and convert, but she does not want to take that path.

          1. Elizabeth Mainwaring

            I just love the way you always know so much about what other people want or think, Mr Dav.

            What a gift you have, dear chap.

          2. Cian

            @dav: then she is tilting against windmills (IMHO).
            If she is a Christian and wants to follow Christ then she has other choices.
            If she wants to remain Catholic then good luck to her – it has 1800 years of not changing.

          3. dav

            @Elizabeth Mainwaring where did I claim to know what was on her mind? I was expressing an opinion to explain why she didn’t join the Anglican church. perhaps you’d like to express one as well? That is, if you have one to express?

  3. david

    I wonder dose anyone have faith?
    Faith is not going to a church and sitting there like a duty full Muppet
    Faith is a belief of god
    God exists and so dose the devil and in all evil exists alongside good
    God created us and we have the choice
    Evil exists when a blind eye ignores and all these crimes happened while so called good people working in the system sat there and did nothing
    I would say these were worse excuses of humanity than the warped culprit that visited their disgusting urges on harmless defenceless children
    These were the social workers the doctors the inspectors the garda those who buried the truth those who sat there doing nothing, those in power who could of stopped it
    For these facilitate these crimes and by doing so are as guilty as these perverted sadists
    Saying all that my faith in god is unbending

      1. david

        My faith has been tested many times in my life in many ways emotionally justice and eviction
        I could of turned my back on god but did not
        I am also a person who dose not go to church or in my case synagogue
        Many Jews do not accept me or my family because my mother was Christian
        I consider my self a Jew which is between me and my god
        I honestly think the harder your life a stronger belief in your faith

  4. Frilly Keane

    Did anyone ask the former President of Ireland when she first knew about her brother’s abuse?

    ’cause if t’was before she left office
    or when her husband was off dolling up the Nuns history of abuse
    or presiding over in the Gate

    She needs to apologies for not saying sum’ting then

    to all of us

    1. david

      That’s a good question
      I have I full brother 1full sister and when I grew up i was aware of any thing that happened to them
      If she was so close to her siblings and the abuse so acute then there would of been signs in behaviour markings on the body bruises emotional signs
      Maybe she is not telling the full story unless they all lived apart
      If she knew or even surmised why is it now we hear about it?
      She was a woman of influence a person of importance
      Did she fall silent and only now speaks because its in the public domain?
      And if she kept silent she is a hypocrite
      Or maybe what is her agenda?

      1. Frilly Keane

        My thing is
        If she knew then
        Like prior to moving into Dublin 8 like

        She colluded in the cover up
        When she was the People’s Representative as President
        And On the Council of State
        And the party that accepts government dissolutions
        And likewise with Government appointments
        On our behalf


        then I think I might be entitled to call her a scheming phoney, who is talking up now cause she’s desperate for sum’ting to do
        And even more desperate to be seen and heard

        Which I think is tragic

        Please don’t delete this lads

        This again is a perfect example of Establishment singing a particular tune to suit and serve their own Interest and needs
        It’s Self Interest
        And I’m never walking away from an opportunity to point that out

        1. brianna

          She said she only found out a few months ago .She left home to get married when her brother was only seven

        2. david

          I think you have summed it up
          All the crimes committed on Irish children many ending up as drunks many moved to England and this country knew these pillars of society lived like kings as these wretches suffered
          All the good people the wise all said nothing the protectors all knew yet did nothing as rape beatings child trafficking
          Tribunal after tribunal and report after report political leader after political leader all helped stifle it
          Even today its announced 7 Madeleine laundry women died still waiting for redress
          And its Leo Vardakas’s government that has not paid out, even today when the truth is out there
          But hey we have same sex marriage
          But the victims of the past have seen no justice as Leo harps on about the Choctaw nation saving Irish people under the big bad British empire and at home children homeless and nothing but contempt for the weakest

  5. GiggidyGoo

    Yes she has some good points. Im still waiting though, for her opinion on the whitewash her husband did on the Magdalene report. Maybe she will call out whoever needs to be called out on that?

    1. anyone

      I was waiting for Mr Miserable to chime in with some contrary angle

      A man who steadfastly refuses to see the good in anyone

  6. some old queen

    In those days, violence against children (punishment) was the accepted norm. All teachers carried straps or metre sticks. I recall one case of a thug who sewed coins into his strap to hurt the child’s hands even more and another who used to catch young boys by the side locks and lift them off the ground. That is only my personal memories of a school which didn’t even have priests as teachers btw.

    The CC in the north had perhaps an additional freedom because the state was protestant. This is where Brendan Smyth was able to operate with impunity for a very long time after all. Because of the political background, whatever chance of redress was hampered by the fact that Catholics were far more reluctant to report such crimes.

    But, I don’t accept that people of faith should just walk away and Mary is very much on the reformist side. The church is the people and the people are the church therefore from their perspective it is perfectly reasonable to call for accountability for such crimes. Letting the side down etc.

    1. some old queen

      Sorrying, letting the side down should be in the middle section. I’m trying to multitask.

    2. david

      I was educated in the UK in the sixties onwards
      We had the cane the slipper
      None of my teachers were sadistic
      I was caned once slippered once and it tought me discipline
      Mind you we were not religiously suppressed in the land where many Irish were given a life
      In England government did not use the church to supply what the states responsibility was
      The Irish state has many things to answer for especially its collusion with church in the vile practices carried out on the most vunerable
      Even today the Madeline victims are being denied the redress for their crimes against humanity by the government as little Leo verruca is offering scholiships to the Choctaw nation citing the evil of the British empire as our people are just failed each day by state

  7. Catherine costelloe

    …..a public enquiry is for the brave men in Waterford who suffered horrific sexual abuse. Wait your turn, Mary!

  8. fergalfurious

    Maybe President Rank Hypocrite forgets her reaction to the release of the Ryan Report.
    Despite Cowen safely stashing her away in Boston for the week the outrage forced her to do an interview on the subject with RTE. Likely in the wee hours of that May morning since the curtains in her suite were drawn.
    Upshot of the interview was “well, sure, come on now they’re all really old, like, so we can’t send them to rot in jail – or God forbid even name them – for raping mere street urchins”.
    Now a victim is one of the nobility – a relative no less – she turns on a penny demanding an inquiry into her clan’s personal bugbear.

    1. bisted

      …the hypocrisy is breathtaking…the FFers chose well when they anointed her as president. She still believes she is inside the tent and that her Phd in sharia law means she can take on the catholic church…

  9. Andrew

    Mary is well versed in the history of Christianity; so we are told.
    She will know then that what she is doing here has been done before. There have been schisms, people went their separate ways and new branches were formed. There were power grabs and politics at play too.
    She should think about that. There were enlightened people before her. Just when did she realise the Catholic church was not to her taste? She’s what age now?
    Give me a break Mary. Join the Anglicans or form your own church. The catholic church isn’t for you. Big deal!

  10. Truth in the News

    We need to go back to the tenure of one Cathal Daly, the prelate that constantly rattled on about
    the “Men of Violence” but he hid all he knew about “Clerical Perverts” in own ranks, were the British
    with all their phone tapping and intelligence gathering in the know too, and was this the reason that
    Daly concentrated on this one issue to protect his back, O’Fiach was not there long enough to do
    much, but he knew too and so did Conway before him, was the silence of these princes of the
    Catholic Church one of the reasons that a large section of the Nationalist Population were forgotten
    about and discriminated against for so long….is it an wonder there was an uprising.
    In relation Mary McAleese it seems odd that this stage it is all dawning her now, surely for an
    educated legal academic of some standing and given that she cut her teeth in current affairs
    in RTE, was she in denial, and what about the McAleese Report by her husband in the Magdalene
    Women….this has to revisited too…..we need all the facts to do justice to the wronged and forgotten
    There is little point in the Pope coming here next August, when a lot of the front row hierarchy know
    all about the stench and rot they concealed for years….only when all the documentation they have
    hid from the public is opened up will we get anywhere. There is also an urgent need given all that
    has happened to remove their control and monopoly in education, what country that espouses
    republican principles would allow it.

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