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Release of child abuse reports

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Wednesday May 20, 2009 23:35author by A Freeman Report this post to the editors

No prosecutions of clerical child abusers?

I don't see any submission on the site about the release of the child abuse report in dublin today and the shameful exclusion of the victims of abuse from the press conference on the release of the report. I can't believe that there's going to be no prosecutions of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Why should there be a blanket whitewash for these child abusers? Like aged Nazi war criminals or common murderers why should old age or the passage of time grant immunity to the abusers?

The sickening actions of the catholic church come as no surprise to me or to many others I imagine, but why did the state pick up the tab for most of the compensation to be paid to the victims in 2002? That was a gift from Bertie to his friends in the Church I suppose? This has been a shameful episode in Irish history.

author by One of Many - 1 in 4publication date Thu May 21, 2009 03:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The most probable reason why the ''alleged guilty ones '' will not be prosecuted in law is quite simply this ..

In the ( unlikely ) event of a massive flood of court summons's to be issued , on the direction of the D.P.P. WOULD THE ACCUSED RECEIVE A FAIR TRIAL
They would ask us , what they may be trying to say is this ,''What Good Would It Do'' ? .

What they really mean to say is this .......'' It'd Only Open Up A Can Of Worms'' and heaven only knows whose name ( s ) would come to the fore ....

''Let Sleeping Dogs Lie'' is the ''Buzz Word '' on this one .......

The Bloody Cheek Of Our Government ,and Our Holy Men And Women , who are responsible for the lifelong mental torture bestowed upon the children
of Yesteryear By the so called '' Caring Authorities ''.....Jesus Mary And Holy St.Joseph what have they done ???

author by Martynpublication date Thu May 21, 2009 08:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Northern Ireland wasn't a squeaky clean society. It too had dark secrets, like the Kincora House child abuse scandals. I'm not claiming 'equivalence' here, just that child abuse in families and elsewhere can go on undetected for years. Northern Ireland festered as a political slum until Austin Curry and others were beaten on the streets for demanding equity in housing allocation etc.

We in the republic are having to face the gross sights and smells of a can of worms opened since the late 1980s by media and official revelations. What the authorities may eventually put in place for safeguarding children and what groups in the general civil society may do after a period of public vomiting, blame-laying and civil litigation will determine the extent to which all these enquiries and reports and recommendations have been worthwhile. Our society will have to go through an agonising and ugly period of recrimination, reflection and purification. It will have to do this regardless of taunts from defenders of other societies that had their peculiar faults.

author by Stuartpublication date Thu May 21, 2009 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It will not be long before each and every fake name in the report is publicly replaced by the real names of the abusers. "John Bander" for instance is actually Donal Dunne according to the Cork Examiner.

author by investigatorpublication date Thu May 21, 2009 11:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The full report is at

That is a web page with links to PDF files. . I only had time to scan through a few of them but it does give an outline of the type of horrific abuses that went on. These are only the reported cases. Given that so many of the abused are now either dead or emigrated (and many of those would not have been aware of these investigations) we can only guess at the full scale of the scandal.
When I looked last night a few of the links did not work, but I saw enough to sicken me.

Other useful links-

author by Hurtpublication date Thu May 21, 2009 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The author of "Kathy's Real Story", Hermann Kelly must be squirming now that the report on institutional child abuse is out
The author of "Kathy's Real Story", Hermann Kelly must be squirming now that the report on institutional child abuse is out in the open. Kelly, who used to edit the Irish Catholic and now makes a living doing bits of freelance work, mostly for the Mail, wrote a book that denies the stories of clerical child abuse in institutions. In the book and in his blog and media interviews, Kelly said that the redress board was nothing more than a State ATM for scroungers. He must feel two feet tall now!
The author of "Kathy's Real Story", Hermann Kelly must be squirming now that the report on institutional child abuse is out in the open. Kelly, who used to edit the Irish Catholic and now makes a living doing bits of freelance work, mostly for the Mail, wrote a book that denies the stories of clerical child abuse in institutions. He has also become a pundit of sorts on the topic of child abuse, and is a fan of the "false memory" theory of the "holocause deniers" in the debate on clerical child abuse. In the book and in his blog and media interviews, Kelly said that the redress board was nothing more than a State ATM for scroungers. He must feel two feet tall now!
Kelly won't have time to defend his indefensible position these days though, he is too busy working as a propogandist for Euro-hopeful Libertas candidate Raymond O'Malley in Louth. Kelly is thought to be the architect of O'Malley's racist speech where the bearded Ardee man condemned the Polish workers who get PRSI numbers here. Kelly also attends public meetings where O'Malley speaks, and makes contributions from the floor under the alias "Pat Gillick." O'Malley, described by billboard graffitists in Meath as "the IFA reject", was a former pretender to the leadership of the IFA. Farmers in Louth are incensed that he has now turned on them and joined the anti-CAP Libertas.
Kelly and O'Malley; birds of a feather......

author by Marypublication date Thu May 21, 2009 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This approach does not appear to me to fit in at all well with the international law of human rights, which refers to "the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice" and, as such, itself constitutes a secondary denial of the victims' right to justice and redress: in other words a "a crime on top of another crime".

The Republic of Ireland legislation which (in effect) allows the perpetrators of these crimes to get away with them, seems to me to be supportive of impunity: and as such is (I suspect) "not worth the paper it's written on" under international law (or national law either).

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 8 February 2005, defines impunity as:

"the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims."

The "First Principle" of the document in question states that:

"Impunity arises from a failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations."

The phrase "to prevent a recurrence" in the paragraph just above seems particularly important to me.

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author by Con Carrollpublication date Fri May 22, 2009 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I write this as a survivor of child sex abuse. I will cover three aspects of report. Church's response.
political reaction. moving forward.
i was a resident in St Josephs Orthapedic hospital coole Co. Westmeath, during the 1970s. this institution was in the hands of the Daughter of Charity. I was denied the right to know who my natural mother was. this woman who gave birth to me was described as a prostitute, alcoholic, unfit mother. by those who ran the institute. physical abuse sexual abuse, emotional abuse were the norms of my life, by religious and nursing staff. the sisters were sadistic bastards. Joesphine MC Cabe was head matron. education was nothing. meals were deporable SR. Agnes was involved in physical and child sex abuse. there were sisters who were ok. Sr. Josephine.

in 1974 I was transfered to Carys- fort avenue Black rock Co, Dublin. this institution was under the control of the St John of God Brothers. Br Aidan Clohessey, was the principal of this institution.
this institution was for people with physical disabilitys here sexual abuse was again allowed to take place by brothers and care staff, Brendan MC Cabe Jan Johnson. Aidan Clohessey was involved in child sex abuse. and the cover up of the death of a person with the medical condition of a person with a epilepsey. while on Easter vacation 1981. people sent out on work experience were exploitated Aidan had his favourites those who were good at sport. his life-style was one of wealth. he cared more about dust on window stills, than on people. My fear was that I would be sent to a sheltered workshop for people with disabilites. Christmas time was one I hated, the brothers drank alcohol, they couldn't give a dam if we as people drank. we even drank with staff. thereare days when I get flash backs of the abuse and people faces. Aidan was a sports fanatic, with another looney tic from KERRY john who used voilence against us. we were made to eat meals one wouldn't serve to animals.

september 1981 Ieft St Augustines. to begin employment with the order, in a eldery people nursing home, in Co. Wicklow. Here I was to witness abuse by staff against the eldery nursing staff could do what they liked. the brothers could do what they liked and ate like lords, we were domestic staff. expected to do the work of the nursing staff. Br. Conrad Pidgeon, Br. John Grande Pielow, were priors,

with out any doubt religious authorities were well aware of child sexual abuse, refused to act. we were called liars.

political reaction to the commissions report is hypocritical. Dr Michael Woods, ex minister for education. Opus Dei member. right wing CATHOLIC group. entered into a deal with areps of religious orders, Sr. Elizabeth Donoghue. Sr Maxwell. June 2002. this deal allowed no criminal charges against the church.
Noel Dempsey. ex minister for education, 2003 political interference with the commission workings, which led to the chai-person justice Mary Laffoy, to resign. the same with Mary Hannafin. who was also minister for education.

we can't stand by remain silent and indifferent to chikldren who experience voilence. I would never wish any child to go through what we had to go through.

author by Con Carrollpublication date Fri May 22, 2009 20:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

around late 2002. I contacted legal reps. i then went on to make formal complaints against the Brothers to gardai of the GNIB Harcourt street. these detectives were given the orders to investigate child files into complaints of child sex abuse, by ex minister for justice Michael Mc Dowell. this is after the documentary about Colm o Gorman and the Ferns child sex abuse scandal. after spending over 9 hours over two week period with reps of the garda. the DPP off ice told the investigating garda that no charges would be made against the daughters of cxharity, st John of God brothers because lapse of time. one cant/t charge people who have died, or people into eldery age or senile.

I then was sent to the redress board, where i was there with my legal team. no friends were allowed to come to the hearing. this was an experience in which I will never forget. humiliating experience. i was then awarded 70,000 euro. with my rights taken away. from speaking about my experience in public. the atomsphere in front of the redress board I will never forget.

do we rember the coalition government of the Labour Party, Fianna FaIL, fine gael. 199-0s. along with the attorney general. about thearrest warrant for the extradition of Fr, Brendan Smyth. he threatened to expose members of his religious order, and Church authorities, who knew he was a paedophile. Norbertine order. a paedophile. whom the Irish state refused the RUC extradition request. Harry Whelan, attorney general to the Irish state. was a right wing Catholic. DICK sPRING, leader of LABOUR, Albert Reynolds. FF. spring threatened to bring down the government over Whelan, he stepped in out of the cabinet as if it was a celi dance.

another was Justice Brian Curtain. Kerry, caught with child porn on his pc. Curtain was a candidate for the progressive democrats, during the 190-190s. no charges against Curtain, he resigned

author by holding backpublication date Fri May 22, 2009 22:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From RTE
"Brian Cowen said children who suffered abuse did so under State supervision. He said the Government was anxious that the truth of what happened be told."

O.K. Brian, if you want "the truth of what happened be told" then amend the legislation to allow the victims to tell their story. The abused who had their cases decided by the Redress Board are at present legally prevented from speaking or writing about their experiences.

Full marks to Con Carroll for speaking out and not allowing himself to be intimidated by the terms of the RIRB.

author by paul o toolepublication date Fri May 22, 2009 23:51author email pauljotoole at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fact that no names will be given out at present reresents nothing more than another coverup by the state. If justice is to prevail then punishment must be metted out on a reasonable basis. When no perpetrators are named no punishment can be allotted and hence no justice is forthcoming. Then the report is a farce.
There are many ways to kill someone, one of the worst ways is to sexually abuse a child as the remainder of the childs life is destroyed by those sworn to care for him/her. This is the worst person on person crime, that human beings are capable of and made even worse given the express nature of the catholic church's coveted position in society.
Furthermore, a coverup in the name of protecting the aged paedophile priests and christian brothers is excruciating to anyone expecting and needing justice.
The rediculous notion that they would not get a fair trial is enraging. What about 'special criminal courts', and a pannel of judges and representation from both problem putting provos they dont like on 'special trials'

Is there a way to get the names of these paedophiles and publish them. Ridicule them, and expose them.
My heart goes out to all those who suffered at the hands of those paedophile bastards, all those destroyed lives, all those lonley souls travelling life as victims of so called religious carers, all the misfits, alcoholic drug addicted homeless victims. A lot of our guys ended up on the streets in Dublin and London incapable of fitting in and coping with life on lifes terms because of the inhumanity of christian brothers and priests.


author by 40 Coats. - Cromby And Company .publication date Sat May 23, 2009 00:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well said Paul . The Truth Will ''Out '' regarding the Depraved and their ''Caring Techniques'' towards Young Kids , a Court System could very well
be established to deal with the ones with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide .

Millions have been spent on Tribunerals , bogey computer voting systems , to name but a few .

The Catholic Church Is On Trial Here ,a handy little court application by the prosecution could very well Order the Catholic Church to make known the
names of such depraved sick xxxxxxds ,and hold their hands up and their heads down in shame for destroying hundreds ,if not thousands of lives
and No Excuses ,no cover ups ,just the truth will suffice ,or have we the bottle to push for something so important to the memories of innocent
children who were leading terryifying lives while the Authorities conveniently chose to look the other way .

author by Stuartpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times identifies Nora Wall as the real identity of "Sr Callida" of St Michael’s Child Care Centre – managed by the Sisters of Mercy – in Cappoquin, Co Waterford, in the 1980s. The commission heard of "alarming” and “disastrous” management of children in her care. She had an alcohol problem and drank in front of the children. One witness told the commission Ms Wall was so drunk on one occasion that she fell into a playpen on top of a child. She allowed children to sleep in her bedroom, and often shared her room with the convent superior, given the pseudonym Sr Serena in the report.

In her evidence to the commission, Ms Wall accepted there were times when she drank a lot .... She acknowledged having one intimate relationship with a nun and said there were occasions outside the home “when it wasn’t appropriate”.

On July 27th, 1999, she had her conviction for the rape of a 12-year-old girl quashed after it emerged that a crucial witness had given evidence after the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that she should not be called. In 2005, the Court of Criminal Appeal declared a miscarriage of justice in relation to the conviction.

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author by Atheistpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Religious groups claim that the abuse is an "abberation".

It were ever thus.. in virtually all religions....almost without exception.

Martyrs were always killed by "believers"........usually of just a slightly different persuasion to the victims.

Religion indoctrination of children (=brainwashing) is itself an abuse of the child and an insult to the intelligence.

author by Stuartpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Abuse is still going on and outside the church and congregations:

Children in care 4,424
Reported child abuse cases 8,269
(Health Statistics 2002)

Children in care 4,984
Reported child abuse cases 6,336
(Health Statistics 2005)

The reported abuse cases (presumably less than actual abuse) amounts to 0.75% of all Ireland's children abused each year, and of 11% being abused at some point in childhood. "Abuse" in these reports includes physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. Sexual abuse is one quarter of cases.

author by Miriampublication date Wed May 27, 2009 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'The first line of defence'

Stuart - you once posted info about who was most likely to commit child abuse. I think it said parents were least likely at 2%. Do you have a link to the statistics?

author by Stuartpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to the Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) Report, the greatest proportion (60%) of abusers are unrelated people known to the child, including neighbours, friends and people in authority. The next greatest proportion (22%) is strangers or new acquaintances. The remaining proportion (19%) is family members of which 3% are parents, 3% siblings and 13% are other family members including uncle, cousin, grandfather, stepfather and brother-in-law. [Page 86, Table 4.10]. These data relate exclusively to sexual abuse.

There is clearly something very disordered in the congregations in Ireland that such a quantity and depth of abuse was committed on the children within their care, but it is important to remember that abuse occurred and continues to occur in many other situations where children are exposed to predominantly male and predominantly unrelated carers.

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author by Artanepublication date Thu May 28, 2009 00:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Artane: brother Ahern he bacame head principal in North circular road and brother Green sexual abuse and brother Harrington master Hickey from Kerry.
he was also in the O'Connel boys school in North Circular road. Coffey beat the crap out of us. The sadist from hell.
We urge everyone to march and demand the governement to tear this down. Tear the Artane building down and bury the children in concegrated graves and put a big memorial up. De Valera did al this. the constitution said all children should be treated equal.
all people gardai and bend judges should be brought to court. fiana foil is to blame. It was all about money and they own a lot of land so the least they can do is give it back to us who worked for it. It was a gestapo like regime and we suffered.
From 1956-86. The rose beads around the waist were used to beat the crap out of us, they smacked us around the head with em.
Only now can I begin to tell about it because it is so horrible.

Sister Monica a childbeater and abuser from st agathe nearly killed a girl witnessed by me.
2 Irish girls were taken to Holland aged 12 and 13 after their mother died and they were first abused here and then in the Netherlands in the 'care'. They were resqued by a Dutch police man who took em in brought em to Ireland to meet their aunt. They are elderly now but still so angry and fustrated.
Now that I speak don't ye dare to remove this text. You have no idea what I went trough and how much it took for me to write this.

author by Stuartpublication date Sun May 31, 2009 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some more real names from today's Sunday Tribune:

"Sr Alida" (Goldenbridge) = Sr Xaviera / Severia
"Fr Stefano" (Ferryhouse) = Fr Patrick Pierce
"Br Bruno" (Ferryhouse) = Sean Barry
"Fr Luca" (St Conleths, Daingean) = Fr William McGonagle
"Sr Astrid" (St Josephs, Kilkenny) = Sr Joseph Conception
"Thomas Pleece" = David Murray
"Peter Tade" = Myles Brady
"Br Dieter" (Lota) = James Kelly / Br Ambrose
"Br Guthrie" (Lota) = James Redmond / Br Eunan
"Br Dax" (Letterfrack) = Maurice Tobin
"Resident Manager" (St Michaels, Cappoquin) = Sr Mary Teresa Doran
"Sr Wilma" (St Josephs, Kilkenny) = Sr Stanislaus Kennedy

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author by Matchpublication date Thu Jun 04, 2009 09:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Christian Brothers were still denying any abuse in their ranks up to the very week the Ryan Report was published. Chief denyer Brother Edmund Garvey should be ashamed of himself, but he is still the official spokesman for the order. How can the bastard who took the claimants and tribunal to court, who denied all abuse, who accused claimants of being in it for the money, who stood in the tribunal saying there was no abuse, how can he now be apologising?

I hope Edmund Rice is roasting in hell for setting up the most perverse order in modern Christianity.


author by Appalledpublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Allowing for the United Nations statement below on impunity, how can our Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) justify its ongoing stance on providing the perpetrators of the sexual abuse of the children involved in this scandal with immunity from the law?

"In resolution 2003/72 ("Impunity") the Commission on Human Rights emphasized the importance of combating impunity to the prevention of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and urged States to give necessary attention to the question of impunity for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including those perpetrated against women and children, and to take appropriate measures to address this important issue. It also emphasized the importance of taking all necessary and possible steps to hold accountable perpetrators, including their accomplices, for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, recognizes that amnesties should not be granted to those who commit violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that constitute serious crimes and urges States to take action in accordance with their obligations under international law." (From )

With due regard for international law, and indeed for "common sense law" as well, surely our Government (Republic of Ireland) is -- at the present time -- facing 100% in the wrong direction regarding this major issue?

Impunity, Republic of Ireland:

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