Tag Archives: abuse

Ann O’Rourke

My Name Is Bridget writes:

Ann was left on a doorstep of an orphanage in Longford as a baby. She was there until her teens and was “raped, beaten and starved”. Her son said her life was “hell”. Ann never found her parents. Ann, 68, died from coronavirus recently. RIP



In St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin 1.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin unveiled a commemorative plaque to remember where Pope Francis prayed for victims and survivors of abuse last year.


Earlier: Get These Children Out

Via Archdiocese Dublin

Previously: A Sorry Visit

Give Up Yer Aul Bins

Yesterday evening.

Designer athletic-wear clad meathead fulminates following bird-flipping incident.

Location and Bus number unidentified.

Raymond Newton (right) claimed Pell (left) asked him if he had “enjoyed” the abuse he suffered at school.

Tomorrow, Former Archbishop of Sydney George Pell will be sentenced for child sexual abuse offences in a hearing broadcast live from an Australian courthouse .

Pell, who served until this year as the Vatican’s Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, is the world’s most senior Catholic to be found guilty of such crimes.


No one thought Cardinal George Pell could fall any further from grace, but victims of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church who reported it to the Cardinal have spoken to A Current Affair about his alleged shocking response.

Raymond Newton was left shocked when in 1996 he detailed to Pell the sickening sexual abuse he suffered at a Melbourne Catholic school in the early 1970s.

“Cardinal Pell looked at me and said, ‘Did you like it?’” Mr Newton told  [Australian TV show] A Current Affair.

“Cardinal Pell, shame, shame. Absolute shame.”

Mr Newton took reporter Martin King on a harrowing journey to the basement below the primary school’s church where he was repeatedly abused by a priest.

“(He would say) it’s God’s way. God’s teachings,” he said.

“Do it, put up, or go to hell.”

‘Did you like it?’ Cardinal Pell accused of heartless response to Church abuse victims (9News)

World will be watching as George Pell sentenced for child sexual abuse (The Age)

From top: Minister for Children Kathrine Zappone; Scouting Ireland said it has identified 237 alleged abusers among its ranks

The Minister for Children Katherine Zappone last November told the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs that safeguarding expert Ian Elliot had found evidence of 71 alleged abusers and 108 alleged victims of abuse.

She warned the numbers could rise.

A month later, Ms Zappone said Scouting Ireland had written to her and said the organisation had since identified 212 alleged abusers and 317 alleged victims of abuse.

Again, she also warned that this figure is also likely to rise.

Further to this…

Jack Power, in The Irish Times, on Saturday reported that Mr Elliott has identified 313 alleged victims, and 237 alleged abusers.

This morning, Mr Power reports:

Children were sexually abused by scout leaders on hikes in the woods, in tents on camping trips, and in local dens, according to statements from 30 alleged victims preparing to take legal action against Scouting Ireland.

Grooming was a common feature of the alleged abuse, with many perpetrators employing similar methods of singling children out for favourable treatment, before going on to molest them, according to the accounts.

“A lot of the time it would have happened in tents, sometimes it would have happened just out in the woods. It could happen in a car, in a minibus, in a scout hall – a lot of the kids were abused on multiple occasions,” according to Daniel O’Connell, a solicitor representing 30 alleged abuse victims.

The Scouting Ireland confidential freephone helpline is 1800 221199.

The number is operational from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Scouting Ireland has also set up a confidential email address: safeguarding@scouts.ie

Scout leaders sexually abused children on hikes, in tents, claim victims (Jack Power, The Irish Times)

Archbishop Eamon Martin

In the Vatican.

From February 21 to 24.

Pope Francis will meet with all the presidents of the Catholic bishops’ conferences of the world to discuss the prevention of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

The Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin will represent the bishops of Ireland at the summit.

Ahead of this, Archbishop Martin has published and circulated a questionnaire to get confidential feedback from survivors of abuse, their families and those who assist them.

The questionnaire contains seven specific questions, namely:

How would you describe the present risk to minors in Ireland by clerics and religious?

How would you describe the level of awareness of this topic among the public?

In your opinion, what is currently the greatest risk factor for the sexual abuse of minors in Ireland?

Do you feel there is currently an adequate response by the Church in Ireland in dealing with child sexual abuse?

What currently are the most effective measures in Ireland to protect minors from harm in the church?

What more do you feel could be done by the Catholic Church in Ireland in response to child sexual abuse?

Do you feel there are any limiting factors to the church’s response to child sexual abuse? If so, what are the limiting factors?

The questionnaire also asks the following:

If there was on thing you wanted to share with Pope Francis what would it be.

Read the questionnaire in full here


Bart Nolan and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan outside Leinster House in 2012

Bart Nolan, who spent decades campaigning for justice for people abused by Irish swimming coaches, has died at the age of 88.

In May 2003, in respect of US-based former Irish swimming coach George Gibney, Mr Nolan wrote to the then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell and asked him: “If you can extradite Conrad Gallagher for three paintings, why can’t you extradite George Gibney for seven rapes?”

This was prompted by the extradition of the chef to Ireland from the US to face allegations he stole three paintings from the Fitzwilliam Hotel at St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, where his Peacock Alley restaurant was located. Mr Gallagher was later acquitted.


In The Sunday Times

Justine McCarthy wrote:

“Bart has died. You would need to have known him to understand how unexpected that feels, even though he had been sick lately and heading towards his 89th birthday. Throughout his decades fighting for young swimmers who were sexually abused by their coaches, his admirers thought him unputdownable.

“At his funeral mass on Thursday in Dublin’s City Quay, around the corner from where he lived as a child, Fr Tom Clowe said Bart Nolan, deep-sea docker and familiar protester outside the gates of Leinster House, was “a man of great courage [who] grew up in a place where loneliness was not part of life because people had friends and neighbours and great values that built this country to be what it is today”.

The absence at his funeral of those who held sway over the sport of swimming when Bart took it on was accentuated by the quiet weeping of former child swimmers and now elderly parents who had come to bury him with praise that could only ever be inadequate.

“Time and again the campaigner was threatened with being sued before being escorted away, with his homemade placard, from outside Swim Ireland’s annual meetings.

“Four of the sport’s once most powerful figures — George Gibney, Derry O’Rourke, Ger Doyle and Ronald Bennett, who included three national coaches — had preyed on their protégés. A fifth, Frank McCann, murdered his wife and his foster daughter to protect his secret: he had fathered the child of a vulnerable swimmer with special needs.

“Bart vowed to make Ireland’s pools safer for future generations. In his eulogy Bart Nolan Jr said his father was “the proverbial accidental hero”. I think not; it was his destiny to be heroic. He was born bolshie and afraid of nobody. As Bart’s coffin was shouldered from the gloomy church into an oblivious city, boisterous with lunch-hour throngs, one question remained: who will mind us now?

Justine McCarthy: When a hero like Bart Nolan dies, state watchdogs such as Gsoc must step up (The Sunday Times)

Unreasonable Delay

Pic: AbuseWatch.net

Louise O’Keefe after her 2014 victory

What has happened in the four years since the state was made to take its share of blame for the abuse in National Schools in Ireland?

Dr Conor O’Mahony, a deputy director of the Child Law Clinic at University College Court, writing for RTÉ [full article at link below], says:

For decades, the State failed to implement child protection frameworks in national schools. The European Court of Human Rights has already ruled [in the Louise O’Keeffe case, 2014] that this was partly to blame for abuse in those schools, but the State continues to fight survivors of abuse tooth and nail...

The O’Keeffe judgment ought to have been a watershed moment in which the State’s role in facilitating heinous sex crimes against pupils in national schools was fully acknowledged and accepted.

Instead, the State immediately went into damage limitation mode.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apology to Louise O’Keeffe pointedly referred to children “in the location where she was”, failing to acknowledge that the judgment concerned a systemic failure to supervise child protection in national schools rather than a specific failure to respond to a complaint in Dunderrow.

This pattern continued when a redress scheme was established for victims of sexual abuse in national schools as part of the State’s implementation of the judgment.

The scheme limited redress to those victims who could establish that their abuse had occurred in the aftermath of a prior complaint which had not been acted upon.

First, this distorts the true basis of liability in the O’Keeffe judgment. As the Court observed, the State’s obligations were

“not fulfilled when the Irish State … continued to entrust the management of the primary education of the vast majority of young Irish children to non-State actors (national schools), without putting in place any mechanism of effective State control against the risks of such abuse occurring”.

The emphasis was on risk and the need for preventive measures, not on investigation of actual abuse.

To say otherwise is equivalent to saying that a search party is an adequate substitute for a stable door.

Official Ireland remains in denial about its child abuse legacy (Dr Conor O’Mahoney, RTÉ)

Previously: Louise O’Keefe on Broadsheet

Terenure College, Dublin

In The Village magazine.

Gemma O’Doherty reports that several former pupils of Terenue College have come forward claiming they were sexually and physically abused in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ms O’Doherty writes:

Terenure College is one of a growing number of fee-paying Irish schools who may have to confront decades-old abuse in the coming years, as survivors gain the courage to come forward and seek redress and compensation.

The financial implications for private colleges which find themselves exposed to historic claims could prove catastrophic. Some may face the prospect of having to sell off valuable chunks of their campus or even closure.

But many victims believe the time has come to blow the whistle, regardless of the consequences.

They say their ‘alma maters’ should no longer be allowed to hide from the dark secrets of their past, which have shattered so many lives.

[One said:] “As a survivor of the violence and sexual abuse at Terenure, it saddens me to think that success on the rugby pitch was put ahead of child protection.

“When past pupils admire with pride the trophy cabinet in the college containing the Leinster Schools cups, they should be aware that they were won at the expense of innocent boys whose lives were destroyed by perverts disguised in brown Carmelite habits and grey suits.

A few bad apples in the barrel yes, but nobody ever cast them out. Why not? The public, who subsidise private schools, have a right to know what happened. We can’t keep brushing abuse scandals under the carpet.

Terror ‘Nure: Horrific physical and sexual violence was permitted, mostly by priests, in one of Dublin’s top private schools, though the Carmelite Order, led by Fr Richard Byrne, won’t say what it did to stop it, and if it alerted the Garda (Gemma O’Doherty, The Village)

From top: The Burlington Hotel, Dublin 4; George Gibney

You may recall the ongoing efforts of US journalist Irvin Muchnick to obtain former Irish swimming coach George Gibney’s immigration and visa file through the US courts.

Gibney was charged with 27 counts of indecency against young swimmers and of carnal knowledge of girls under the age of 15 in April, 1993 – but sought and won a High Court judicial review in 1994 which quashed all the charges against him.

The judicial review was secured following a controversial landmark Supreme Court decision – during which Gibney’s counsel Patrick Gageby argued that the delay in initiating the prosecution against Gibney infringed his right to a fair trial.

Mr Gageby won this decision. His sister Chief Justice Susan Denham was on the bench that day.

Following this Supreme Court decision, Justice Declan Costello conducted a judicial review and held that Mr Gibney’s right to a fair trial would be infringed if the prosecution were to be proceeded with.

After this, Gibney left Ireland for Edinburgh, Scotland and then Florida.

Further to this…

Mr Muchnick, of Concussion Inc, reports that an Irish woman has claimed she was sexually molested by Gibney when she was 11, in 1982, in the pool of the Burlington Hotel in Dublin 4.

Mr Muchnick reports:

For the purposes of this article, we are calling the victim in the 1982 incident “Julia.”…  I have no independent verification of Julia’s allegation. But I believe her. And the full context of the Irish swimming scandals and of Gibney’s checkered two-continent history supports publishing her account.

Julia told me that she was abused by both Gibney and Ger Doyle (she remembers the former calling the latter “Jerry”). The delay in Julia’s coming forward has many familiar elements — shame, possible collateral damage to loved ones, fear that she would not be believed nor her information acted upon — and some unique ones. The latter include her absence from Ireland during the period when the swimming scandals first broke in the news media there.

“I never came forward about Gibney because I didn’t see the point after the injustice the others were dealt out. I didn’t want the upheaval in my life,” Julia told me.

“I had a hard childhood and just wanted to forget about everything I went through and get on with my life. What Gibney did to me was minor in comparison to other things that were done to me so I didn’t see the big deal about it when I was young. I sometimes thought about it but never saw myself coming forward until two years ago I saw a picture of Gibney and Ger Doyle in their younger days on the Internet and recognized them.”

Julia said that on an evening in 1982 her father brought herself and her brother, who is three years older, to the pool of the Burlington, in Dublin’s affluent Ballsbridge neighborhood. The brother asked how they would get admitted to the pool of a hotel where they were not staying. The father said he would arrange it through a lifeguard he knew. Julia believes the “lifeguard” was Doyle.

“My father talked to the lifeguard for a few minutes. He then told us it was OK and waved us in and said he would come back for us in two hours. When we got to the pool there was a man and a woman there. The man started talking to my older sibling, telling him that he was an Olympic swimming coach. My brother was really excited about this and came over to tell me. The man approached us and started splashing me with water so I splashed back. I asked him was he really an Olympic coach and he said yes. We thought it was amazing that we had met somebody like this.

“The man said he lived in a luxury apartment and would bring us there to show it to us if we came back the next night. He told us that he came here every night to swim.

“He said he wanted to see me swim, so I swam up and down the pool. He said I was a good swimmer but needed some lessons to be better. He made my sibling and me have swimming races. The girl he was with sat at the edge of the pool smiling as she watched the fun.

The lifeguard blew the whistle after an hour was up. Gibney told me to stay — that he would give me a free swimming lesson. His girlfriend and my brother left, leaving me alone with Gibney and Ger Doyle.

Gibney became angry and bossy. He brought me to a corner of the pool where the lifeguard was sitting and put his hand inside my bathing suit. He probed me everywhere and then put his finger inside me. While he was probing inside me, the lifeguard was watching and said, ‘Enough.’ Gibney said, ‘Just give me a few more minutes, Jerry.’

“The lifeguard was getting annoyed with Gibney and said to Gibney every few minutes, ‘Time is up, enough.’ Gibney would keep answering, ‘Just give me another minute, Jerry, I’m nearly finished.’

“There was something violent about him and I was afraid so didn’t protest. He was ordering me around. I froze while he abused me.

“When he was finished he told me to come back tomorrow night and he would bring us to his apartment. He told me to get out and get dressed. I was frightened and dressed as fast as I could.

“I just wanted to get out of there. I was afraid. I met my sibling in the front hall of the hotel waiting. He asked me why I took so long to get ready. We waited for my father to pick us up. I watched Gibney from the hall, he seemed to know a few people at the hotel, the workers from the bar and the receptionist knew his name, he talked to them. He left the hotel with two other men. My brother tried to wave to him but Gibney ignored him and walked on. My father came shortly after that to pick us up.

“My father said he would bring us back there the next night. The next day I pretended to be sick and have an earache. I knew he would do something worse to me the next time and dreaded it. After protesting, I got my way. My mother was there when I was pretending to be sick and said not to bring me swimming if I had an earache.

I was 11. I didn’t fully understand what had happened to me and just thought every man did this to girls and that it was normal. I didn’t know any different because I had been sexually abused throughout my childhood; my first memory was when I was four “

Julia ran away from home in 1987, at age 16.

The last two years of my life have been spent putting the pieces of the puzzle together to try and make sense of everything that happened to me as a child. Gibney is just one little piece of the big puzzle.”

New 1982 Sexual Molestation Allegation Surfaces Against George Gibney — Former Irish Olympic Swim Coach and Subject of Concussion Inc.’s FOIA Suit (Concussion Inc)