From left: Central Criminal Court, Dublin; Barrister Tom O’Malley
A working group has recommended to the government that anonymity should be granted to those accused of all sexual offences including child sexual exploitation.
The review of protections for witnesses in sexual offence cases, chaired by barrister Tom O’Malley, says there does not appear to be ‘any logical reason’ why accused people should be entitled to anonymity in a rape trial but not in a sexual assault trial.
At present those accused of sexual offences other than rape or aggravated sexual assault can be named after being charged.
…It says consideration should also be given to giving anonymity to people charged with other sexual offences including child sexual exploitation offencesand offences against people with mental illness and intellectual disability.
But the review says the case for restricting the publication of the names of people charged with what are called child pornography offences, is not particularly strong and would raise questions about how many other offences should be treated in a similar way.
Last week, therapy services said they are no longer asking child sex abuse victims to disclose their abusers’ names due to a Tusla policy mandating that alleged abusers must be informed of any complaints.
Pat Rabbitte, Chairman of Tusla. The child and family agency insist alleged abusers must be informed of any complaints and the identity of those making them
Via The Irish Times
Therapy services are no longer asking child sex abuse victims to disclose their abusers’ names due to a Tusla policy mandating that alleged abusers must be informed of any complaints.
Under current guidelines, therapists and victim-support groups must disclose reports of child sex abuse, including historic cases, to the child and family agency, along with the identities of the complainants and alleged abuser.
Tusla policy is to then inform the alleged abuser of the complaint and to begin an assessment. This is the case even if the complainant does not want an investigation.
…Tusla cited a “complex legislative space” and said court decisions and “natural justice” mean it must inform alleged abusers of complaints.
It said this approach will not change under a revised policy framework which is due to come into effect next year.
The counselling service One In Four stopped asking clients the name of their alleged abusers in November 2019. “It’s just too dangerous,” said executive director Maeve Lewis.
Cliona Sadlier, head of Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said one of the first questions clients ask is “if I come in to you do you have to report me?”
Protestors , including members of several right-wing groups including the National Party, Renua and the Irexit Party, protesting at the Dáil under the banner ‘Protecting the Innocent – Punish the Guilty’, which refers to the sexual abuse of children.
A counter demonstration begins and ends rapidly.
Actor John Connors addresses the crowd. Part 2 here.
Primary school teacher Patrick Harte was sentenced to three years this afternoon for the abuse of seven primary school boys at Synge Street between September 1968 and September 1970; The school’s crest with motto ‘Viriliter Age’ (Act Manfully)
“It’s 52 years… I didn’t think we could ever get justice, and it shows that no matter how long ago it was, that there is justice” – Fr Tony Conlon, one of the pupils abused by retired primary teacher Patrick Harte, urges survivors to come forward| More: https://t.co/qO3hEoXYRhpic.twitter.com/4Ppbxb6L54
The men who were abused in the 1960’s and 70’s by Harte said they have finally been believed and have won their fight for justice.
An emotional Fr Tony Conlon, now a catholic priest, said afterwards they had fought for seven years and thanked the gardaí, the DPP, the prosecution services, and One in Four who had helped them over the years.
Harte repeatedly and continuously indecently assaulted his pupils in the Christian Brothers school in Synge Street amidst an atmosphere of severe corporal punishment, physical and verbal abuse, violence and terror.
He regularly beat the children with “the leather”, and once smashed a child’s head against a wall.
Harte found reasons to call the boys up to his desk, sometimes for praise and other times for correction of minor misbehaviours.
He would warn the rest of the class to look at their books and not raise their heads before he indecently assaulted the children…..
In a two-year-old tweet (above) being shared again online, newly-appointed Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman (above left), of the Green Party, poses with veteran British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell (in green shirt) at the 2018 Dublin pride.
In a letter to The Guardian in 1997 (above), Mr Tatchell stated that friends as young as nine had sexual experiences with adults which gave them “great joy”.
Mr Tatchell, who has called for the age of consent to be 14 in the UK, claimed that not all sex involving children was “unwanted, abusive or harmful”.
He later said the letter had been edited and issued a ‘Statement Of Clarification’.
Mr Tatchell said:
“The printed version [of the letter] did not include my point that I oppose adults having sex with children. I empathise with victims of child sex abuse and agree for the vast majority of children, sex with adults is neither wanted nor joyful.”
A clip from the 2018 Pride Debate. @PeterTatchell advocates forcing parents that don’t want their kids in the new Sex Ed classes to pick up their kids from schools. He says this wears them down and forces the resistance rate for the classes down to 0 😳#IrelandsPedoGatepic.twitter.com/SfDL3HjwRH
My letter was edited. It still says paedophila is “impossible to condone”. This means I condemn it. I oppose adults having sex with children. I’ve supported abuse victims & campaigned for proposals to help combat abuse https://t.co/DBZ7bFnXQY
James O’Reilly was jailed for 20 years for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of his seven daughters – pictured outside the Central Criminal Court this morning (above) – and a younger sister over a 23-year period.
Afterwards, [O’Reilly’s] daughters urged other victims of abuse, particularly those in the travelling community, to speak up, come forward and report abuse.
They also asked where was the protection from the State authorities when they were defenceless, vulnerable children forced to live on the fringes of Irish society.
They questioned if this would have been allowed to continue for so long if it had been a respected settled family in Ireland.
I have sent the piece to The Irish Independent and I hope they publish it as a form of redress to the scandalously inappropriate obituary this man received. I am not defined by what happened to me but it is a part, a very painful part, of what made me the man I am today
. I’ve got more fire in me than ever before and all the words I’ve read here today have blown such a warm gust into my sometimes tattered, sometimes uncertain sails but I am more sure of my course than ever.
Sophia, who was a guest on RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show’ last Friday, tells a raw unflinching story of childhood abuse by her father, and is keen to get her message of survival to others who may be suffering out there.
In spite of everything hers is an inspirational tale. She is the most inspirational and unembittered person this old hack has ever met, and I think and hope that the documentary does her justice.
The Vatican is refusing to co-operate with requests to provide witnesses and evidence about child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church to a British public inquiry, it emerged yesterday.
The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse was told that the Vatican considered the requests to be improper and claimed that its officials were protected by diplomatic immunity.
The response appears to be in stark contrast to Pope Francis’s declaration this year of an “all out battle” against child abuse, which he said was “utterly incompatible with [the church’s] moral authority and ethical credibility”
Vatican refuses requests for child abuse inquiry evidence. Despite all the rhetoric the catholic church is changing, its action speak louder than words. It refused to release child abuse files to Irish, then Australian now UK inquiry.
A judge has concluded that the State has misinterpreted a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and in doing so has denied victims of child sexual abuse access to a redress scheme to which they are entitled.
In a decision that will be welcomed by survivors, Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill has ruled that the State’s interpretation represents:”a fundamental unfairness to applicants” and involves “an inherent inversion of logic”, because of its insistence that survivors of sex abuse in primary schools need to prove that there was a complaint made to authorities about their abuser before their abuse took place.
….Figures revealed by RTÉ News earlier this year showed that out of 50 applicants to the scheme no applicant has been successful, and that all of the cases refused have been declined on the grounds of a failure to show evidence of a prior complaint….