To “clarify media reporting…”

Will Crawley resists the temptation of pointing out that Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, speaking in Washington, may be in somewhat of a glasshouse when he suggests that Cardinal Seán Brady “should consider his position” in relation to the Catholic primate’s actions in 1975. But will the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, add his considered thoughts on the matter? Or will we have to wait until after his therapy?And Will adds the Catholic Communications Office statement to “clarify media reporting on Cardinal Seán Brady”

1. The State’s first Child Abuse Guidelines came into effect in 1987 and the Church’s first guidelines Child Sexual Abuse: Framework for a Church Response, were published in 1996.

2. In late March 1975, Fr Seán Brady was asked by his bishop, Bishop Francis McKiernan, to conduct a canonical enquiry into an allegation of child sexual abuse which was made by a boy in Dundalk, concerning a Norbertine priest, Fr Brendan Smyth.

3. Fr Brady was then a full-time teacher at St Patrick’s College, Cavan. Because he held a doctorate in Canon Law, Fr Brady was asked to conduct this canonical enquiry; however he had no decision-making powers regarding the outcome of the enquiry. Bishop McKiernan held this responsibility.

4. On 29 March 1975, Fr Brady and two other priests interviewed a boy (14) in Dundalk. Fr Brady’s role was to take notes. On 4 April 1975, Fr Brady interviewed a second boy (15) in the Parochial House in Ballyjamesduff. On this occasion Fr Brady conducted the inquiry by himself and took notes.

5. At the end of both interviews, the boys were asked to confirm by oath the truthfulness of their statements and that they would preserve the confidentiality of the interview process. The intention of this oath was to avoid potential collusion in the gathering of the inquiry’s evidence and to ensure that the process was robust enough to withstand challenge by the perpetrator, Fr Brendan Smyth.

6. A week later Fr Brady passed his findings to Bishop McKiernan for his immediate action.

7. Eight days later, on 12 April 1975, Bishop McKiernan reported the findings to Fr Smyth’s Religious Superior, the Abbot of Kilnacrott. The specific responsibility for the supervision of Fr Smith’s activities was, at all times, with his Religious Superiors. Bishop McKiernan withdrew Brendan Smyth’s priestly faculties and advised psychiatric intervention.

  • Eileen Calder

    I have just listened to Martin on BBC news. I have never heard such sickening hypocrasy in my whole life. The press are total cowards how the Hell can McGuinness keep his face straight?

  • Eileen Calder

    sorry HYPOCRISY

  • lamhdearg

    Point 4 is the interesting one ” The intention of this oath was to avoid potential collusion in the gathering of the inquiry’s evidence and to ensure that the process was robust enough to withstand challenge” If this was the case then i have a degree of sympathy with brady,If not the case, stone him to death, As for gerry untill something new and connected to him from the liam adams case comes up, no comment, except for this, what’s the betting liam adams extradition come through just before the elections.

  • Sammy Wilson’s calculator for the sums

    “Or will we have to wait until after his therapy?”

    Baker, you bitch.

    Yes, the hypocrisy stinks (such is politics, especially that of an Irish republican variety for a variety of reasons cf. “traitors to the island of Ireland”) but it seems like you’re pursuing a [i]very[/i] personal and somewhat unhealthy vendetta: care to seek a little therapy yourself, Pete?

  • Coll Ciotach

    I have told you that in an earlier post – the civil law also recognises the principle – something that a certain Mr Adams seems to be making in order to avoid a court case.

    The only area I have any problem with is that there is an argument that anyone who knew what had happened should have went to the guards after the process.

    But then you descend into the world of supposition.

    What needs to happen is a clear statement of what had happened with time scales, then we can all say – what would I have done.

    And then we can judge instead of this witch hunt based on supposition and conjecture

  • joeCanuck


    Before you apply your sympathy, ask yourself the following: did Brady take care to ensure that these 2 children, one a very young child, knew that their oath ONLY applied to the proceedings and NOT to the abuse itself? What do you think; time to start collecting the stones?

  • lamhdearg

    “Did brady”? I dont know.
    time to start collecting stones?,I allways keep a pile handy.

  • iluvni

    A man whose Oath of Allegiance to the murdering bastard IRA prevented him telling the truth to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry comdemns a priest who uses an Oath of Silence to ensure two child victims of paedophilia keep silent.

    Happy St Patricks Day. It should be last these two rotten bastards ever see as free men.

  • Driftwood

    Did Martin McGuinness comment on the oath of silence about the murder of Joanne Mathers, whose murder he ordered? And many others..
    Didn’t think so.

    He and Sean Brady walk in the footsteps of Heydrich, Beria, Pol Pot, Ian Brady,Lenny Murphy,Bobby Sands, Harold Shipman, Ted Bundy,

    I could go on…

  • Alias

    “5. At the end of both interviews, the boys were asked to confirm by oath the truthfulness of their statements and that they would preserve the confidentiality of the interview process. The intention of this oath was to avoid potential collusion in the gathering of the inquiry’s evidence and to ensure that the process was robust enough to withstand challenge by the perpetrator, Fr Brendan Smyth.”

    You’d almost get the mistaken impression that this was a court of law that had the purpose of securing justice for the victim of rape rather than a private employer covering up abuse by one of its employees by demanding that the victim of it that an oath of secrecy wherein his soul would be presumably damned to hell for all eternity if he ever told anyone about the abuse.

    And this rotten institution would have us believe that the purpose of the oath was to ensure that the child rapist employed by the Church would not think that his employer was ‘colluding’ with his victims to accuse him of rape, and wherein he would presumably contact his lawyers to take the Church to court for removing his rights to hear children’s’ confessions but otherwise allowing him unrestricted access to children that he continued to rape for another 20 years.

    Incidentally, the power that this institution still has within this state is evidenced by Biffo saying tonight that the resignation of Sean Brady is a matter for the church to decide and not the state. That might be the case if the Church was wholly separate from the State rather inextricably linked to it via its educational, medical, and other institutions of the state. If the head of the government will not hold the Church to account for its actions then the people should demand that it is removed from all areas of the state and confined solely to religious duties.

  • joeCanuck

    Totally agree, Alias. Is that a first?

  • Driftwood

    Brady’s Nuremberg defence was one of desperation.

    It is a good thing that religion has been exposed as a child abuse institution. Now maybe reason will prevail.

    Sad that people had to suffer because of some nutty belief in a non existant ‘higher power’, but good that people will come to their senses and accept science.

    Of course the elderly and ‘less educated’ will cling to whatever creation myth takes their favour, but at least their chances of indoctrinating/abusing others have receded.

  • lamhdearg

    I choose to believe in creation, I hope i am not elderly (41), and i wont be abusing anyone, Ps i dont follow any church of man but still choose to believe in a creator.

  • Alias

    Joe, congratulations about being ‘in the right’ for a change. 😉

    Sean Brady might want to have his lawyers acquaint themselves with the legality of administering unlawful oaths, since the State could easily prosecute him for his actions under the existing law if the government decided to enforce the laws of this state rather than protect the Church from them.

    Incidentally, the Murphy and Ryan reports confirm that these oaths were used, contrary to the press office spin above, to silence the victims of abuse, and that they were administered by the Church under penalty of excommunication.

  • Driftwood

    I choose to believe in creation

    Your choice lamhdearg…

    My daughter CHOOSES to believe in the tooth fairy, and Santa.

    I like to think we grow out of superstition and mythology.
    But I’m a believer in Zeus and all the guys at Mount Olympus, with a side bet on Wotan and Thor, so what the hell..Valhalla waits I hope.

    not too sure about the Gerin oil that makes people fly planes into buildings. Too many virgins, but we now have tablets for such situations.

  • USA

    Well said McGuinness.
    Showing appropriate leadership again.

  • Henry94

    Martin McGuinness faces regular elections and the people can get rid of him if they choose to do so. His past is well known. The Cardinal has said he is answerable only to the Pope and not the people so it is right and appropriate that senior elected representatives speak on our behalf to this man.

    Happy St. Patricks Day. Bring back the snakes and kick out the Bishops.

  • Martin McGuinness now has an added burden. Bad enough he can hardly condemn brutality, murder or even collusion without being reminded of his own murky past. He now has to try to wriggle round the allegations of child abuse and rape.

    He and S/F should have suspended those accused and waited for results of trials etc. He is of course right about Brady, but that makes him wrong about GA and LA and so on.

  • socaire

    The Patience Strong of the cat world has spoken ……………. again.

  • socaire!

    Are you saying the comment is wrong? if all you are saying is it was predictable. My dear of course it was! He and S/F must feel they can wait out the storm, but this will not go away anytime soon.

    I feel strongly about the whole child abuse issue, but I also feel strongly about S/F. It is not good enough when, having decided its time to overlook the past, we find some additional perverts may have been lurking or strutting in the republican movement, and even worse, been protected by that movement!

  • Coll Ciotach

    nothing in there that is actionable – so no – the oath is not illegal