Separate Church and State

As Mick noted, Fionnuala O’Connor’s contrasting of the reaction, north and south, to the findings of the Ferns Inquiry was less than favourable to northern Catholics. That contrast was reinforced today when Progressive Democrat TD Liz O’Donnell, speaking in the Dáil[updated direct link to Liz O’Donnell’s speech], called for an end to the special relationship between Church and State – RTÉ report – accusing the Irish State of having “tip-toed around the Irish [Catholic] hierachy” and that, although that hierarchy was “remorseful after the event”, their “instinct for self-preservation” along with the deference shown by the State’s “reluctance to follow up on accusations” and a “reluctance to prosecute” contributed to the failure to address the problem. Liz O’Donnell expands on her comments here [RealPlayer audio file] Update Link to speech addedAdditionally, from the RTÉ report –

Ms O’Donnell also told the Dáil that there should also be an official audit of the Church’s wealth, using legal discovery orders if necessary.

She said that given the extent of its wrongdoing against citizens the Catholic Church should be obliged to open up its books.