Tag Archives: Child Sexual Abuse

This morning.

A man in Scotland who said he was sexually abused as a boy by Christian Brothers has been awarded almost £1.4 million in damages – said to be a record sum for a victim in the UK.

Via The Herald (Scotland):

The man, identified as AB, who has not been named for legal reasons, said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Brothers Ryan, Farrell and Kelly while attending St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife, about 40 years ago.

The claimant, now 54, said his brother, who is 14 months older than him, also claimed to have been sexually abused by the same men at a similar time without him knowing.

The Christian Brothers, a religious sect that ran the school, tried to have the legal case thrown out but, in a written judgement released on February 4, a sheriff dismissed the attempt and ordered them to pay just short of £1.4 million in damages to AB.

Speaking after the ruling, AB said he hopes the landmark decision will inspire other abuse victims to fight for justice.

He said: “Finally, after nearly 40 years, I’ve been acknowledged and those responsible can be exposed.

St Ninian’s School in Falkland, Fife: Former pupil paid £1.4m damagaes over monk abuse (Herald Scotland)

Previously: Christian Brother Stories


Thanks Breeda

From left: Central Criminal Court, Dublin; Barrister Tom O’Malley

This morning.

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 offences and 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.

Report recommends anonymity for those accused of all sexual offences (RTÉ)

Previously: Unspeakable

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?


Previously: Tusla And The Silencing

Tusla policy ‘endangering’ victims of child sex abuse, say therapists (Irish Times)

Pic: Tusla


Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

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)

This afternoon.


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…..

Ex-primary school teacher jailed for 3 years over sex assaults (RTÉ)

Pics: RTÉ

This morning.

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.”

Peter Tatchell: Statement Of Clarification

Roderic O’Gorman (Gov.ie)



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.

This morning/afternoon

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.

Man jailed for rape and sexual abuse of seven daughters and sister (RTÉ)

Pic via RTÉ News

From top: Daily Telegraph obituary reprinted in last week’s Sunday Independent;  ‘Creep and imposter’ Randall McDonnell (left); Billy O’Hanluain.

Billy O’Hanluain writes:

I was sickened reading a fawning obituary to this absolute creep and impostor Randal McDonald.

They fail to mention that he was a predator and pederast with an insatiable lust for young boys.

He made a misery of my late teenage years and I carried for way too long the shame and guilt for what he did to me as though it had been my responsibility.

Twice he seriously abused me, even once video recording the abuse so he could press pause and marvel at the highlights of his wickedness.

I didn’t have the luxury of pressing pause on what was happening to me, nor was I later able to scrub the the tape of my life clean.

In my own delusional way, I put it all down to a wild adventure but I know now that was just a hopeless coping mechanism.

They say not speak ill of the dead but I’d gladly strike the first match at his cremation and spit paraffin on his embers  Go rot in hell! [continued at links below]

I’d gladly strike the first match at his cremation and spit paraffin on his embers (Cassandra Voices)

Billy O’Hanluain (Facebook)


Billy writes:

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.

Billy O’Hanluain (Facebook)

Obituary: The life and death of Randal MacDonnell – the most remarkable Irish figure you’ve probably never heard of (Sunday Independent)


This afternoon.

Senator David Norris pays tribute to Randal McDonnell on the floor of Seanad Éireann

Debates (Seanad Eireann)

Thanks Amy

Staying in tomorrow?

Journalist and filmmaker Paddy Hayes writes:

I have an important documentary going out tomorrow night on TG4 called Finné: Sophia Murphy

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.

Finné: Sophia Murphy at at 21.30 on TG4.

Pic: TG4

Pope Francis

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 (The Times)

Peter Fox writes:

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.