New Brady case doesn’t look like cover up

The Guardian’s veteran political commentator Michael White takes world weariness to new heights by predicting that the Catholic Church has the stamina to sit out the media firestorm. These things blow themselves out in time, as all Westminster watchers know. In Britain perhaps, where the abuse crisis hasn’t reached the same level but there’s no sign of a firebreak in Ireland and indeed worldwide, where the storm is gaining second wind and is now engulfing the Vatican. But balance and fairness are essential and never more so than when the cause is just. I see that the Church’s sclerotic spokemen have taken care to spell out that the latest cases under the microscope were reported to the police. This applies to the Bishop Hegarty case . Not for thre first time, the issue here implicates the State which has to answer why a private civil settlement was deemed appropriate for a rape case. Responsibility seems clearer in a 2001 rape case in Cardinal Brady’s Armagh archdiocese reported by UTV tonight. This came to trial, resulting in acquittal but also a follow up compensation settlement. According to a lengthy statement issued hastily to the Irish Times, the cardinal was not bound by the confidentiality agreement of the civil action and suspended the priest, named only as “Father X”. His identity was at first withheld to protect the victim. Then late tonight the suspended priest was named as Father Joseph Quinn. While the priest seems to have been named under pressure, making his life difficult beyond the immediate circle of those in the know, the cardinal’s position appears not to have worsened. But the case again puts him under the closest scrutiny. What other cases will come out in the Irish wash? Interestingly the Economist declares that “ removing the Irish primate, who has said he will only go if the pope requests it, could signal that the era of cover-ups is finally over ” a view which I believe fails to rise to the level of events.Back to Mike White, who links to an interesting court ruling reported in the Daily Mail, market leader in turned-on crossness, which upholds the right of conscience of Catholic adoption agencies not to permit adoptions by gays. I must admit I’ve some sympathy with this view although I wouldn’t have any, if gays didn’t have recourse to other agencies.

Mr Justice Briggs said because an exemption in the 2007 Sexual Orientation Regulations allowed gay charities to restrict their help to homosexuals, it was right that Catholic Care should also be allowed to discriminate. The judge added that the good work carried out by the charity outweighed the importance of European anti-discrimination legislation…However, he sent the case back to the Charity Commission to reconsider in light of his ruling, which means it could yet find reasons to force the adoption agency to close.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • I’m not sure where this thread will go. As an agnostic, non-Catholic, perhaps I shouldn’t care.

    And yet … (and here I’m borrowing from personal experience and various postings on

    For eighty years the Republic has had theocratic elements in its Constitution. de Valera was elusive as ever in avoiding the wholesale commitment to Quadragesimo Anno, which Salazar imposed on Portugal (and which the hierarchy, and others, wanted for the 1937 Constitution). Alas, though, there was “back-wash” at lower levels in the policing and judicial system.

    It pains me to admit it, but Dev could only work with what he’d got. If anyone’s reputation should be called for trial there, it should be O’Duffy’s, following the instruction of O’Higgins, to recruit from a particular, and partisan sub-section of the populace.

    Similarly, in the Six Counties (where the Law could have been applied), the Craig, Andrews and Brookeborough administrations wanted nothing more than a segregation of the two communities, and closed their eyes to … whatever. Of course, it goes without saying, there was absolutely no, never, none of that happening in the Prod schools. Despite those gross rumours about Portora …

    Then, again, the UK permitted coporal punishment (a mild form of sexual exploitation) until the dying-days of the Thatcher administration.

    My … errm, bottom line … comes down to the welfare of individual kids. Not grand statements about human rights and all that guff.

    That was then. This is now. Let’s keep our eyes open. Stop frothing about what is lost and gone. End the exploitation (far more subtle: it’s called “selection”) that still persists.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Certainly the crisis in the Catholic Church in Ireland is manna from heaven (so to speak) for those who like to go on about the whore of Babylon in big tents near Ballymena. And the new more sophisticated “intellectual” sectarianism found on Internet message Boards.
    Will happily repost my views from another thread.

    But on the precise details of today and yesterday.
    Yesterday I thought Cardinal Brady wasa broken man on the point of resignation. As I understand it the applause from his congregation was more a gesture of sympathy than actual support. My belief is that they sensed he was a “goner”.

    We have the case of Miss X and Father Quinn. As I understood one radio report today, the priest was named only as Father X as revealing his identity might compromise the victim. As the UTV interview with the victim was enough to just about identify her…..27 ex-grammar school girl Archdiocese of Armagh (Dungannon, Armagh possibly Newry although in Dromore)…reported to teachers……left home for a while …it certainly was “enough” to make Cardinal Brady feel that if the victim (deserving of anonymity) had broken her own cover…….then the man accused could be identified (Brady saying that he himself was not bound by confidentiality).
    There is something slightly disquieting about the fact that a UTV reporter John Cooke has been in contact with the victim for some months. While negotiations were going on?
    In this PARTICULAR instance I dont see how Cardinal Brady has done much wrong. After all the case had been seen by the Police etc (had it actually gone to court and an acquittal?)
    I note Mr Walkers time stamp of 9.33pm. Presumably he has not seen the 10.30pm edition of UTV live…which carried an interview “recorded earlier” with a Mr O’Gorman from 1 in 4 Victims Group who spoke quite reasonably but it was the same interview carried on the 6pm News and asked questions of Cardinal Brady which he had addressed in a statement made after Mr O’Gormans interview.
    At best that was bad editing.
    I full expected Paul Clark to say at its end “that interview recorded before Cardinal Bradys statement”. That would have clarified things a lot.
    Finally I pay tribute to another excellent balanced piece from Mr Walker….in marked contrast to others.

  • Malcolm Redfellow

    I agree with most of what you said, but surely corporal punishment, like any other punishment, is only sexually oriented if the administrator of said punishment is that way inclined.

    A slap on the wrist is not sexual, and whilst I can see where a cane, might be said by the extremely imaginative, to be some kind of phallic symbol, its administration in most instances, was as far as I know, according to strict rules, on either the palm of the hand of the back of the shins.

    We cannot, here or in the UK, be made at this late stage to feel our occasional slap or cane was a sexual assault. To do so actually belittles the very real and brutal assaults, both physical and sexual carried out by some priests etc.

  • Church tribunals operate both independently and parallel to a civil court. The complaint about Fr Smyth was made to the diocese, not to the police. The oath of secrecy administered would not have precluded the victim from reporting the crime to the Gardaí. They obviously chose not to. The secrecy demanded only applies to information given in the tribunal. This is not limited to tribunals for suspension; most tribunals, including those for marriage annulments, are ordinarily conducted in secret. According to Vatacanista John Allen, of the National Catholic Reporter: “First, it is designed to allow witnesses and other parties to speak freely, knowing that their responses will be confidential. Second, it allows the accused party to protect his good name until guilt is established. Third, it allows victims to come forward without exposing themselves to publicity.”

    For Cardinal Brady to have reported the incident to the Gardaí would have required specifying a complaint and providing evidence hence ‘outing’ a victim who had given this information in confidence. Personally if one of my friends told me she was raped, I doubt I would inform the Guards against her wishes.

    Paedophilia is different because we know paedophiles have a high reoffending rate. But that is a fact which is only relatively recently established; the first academic study into repeat offending was done in the late 70s (1979?). Freud, mystified by the high incidence of abuse reported to him, taught that these children were merely projecting guilt about sexual issues onto adults.

    According to Dr GP Lewis:

    Madam, – Niall O’Donohoe (December 7th) referred to Prof Neil O’Doherty’s lecture in 1980 concerning sexual abuse of children and the resulting severe criticism Prof O’Doherty received for even suggesting such things were happening in Ireland of that time.

    Now I feel strongly that it is in the context of that time and later that this issue should be studied and not the partially media driven witch-hunt and scapegoating of auxiliary bishops of Dublin past and present. Truth and justice is not served in such scapegoating.

    As was revealed, of course serious errors of judgment were made by the church authorities, but they were made in the context of the time. This is not by way of making excuses for the great damage that so many suffered by these crimes of depravity committed by men who totally betrayed the scared trust given to them at ordination.

    Less than 20 years ago most educated people had never heard of the word paedophilia. As far as I am aware, professional and statutory bodies did not know how to deal with the problem when it arose. The judiciary would give out suspended sentences with a warning to offenders. The social services and Garda would often ignore information given to them of allegations in their area. They were extremely hesitant to intrude into the privacy of a family where such abuse might be happening.

    The psychological/psychiatric professions sent offenders on treatment programmes and would often certify such people back to their location, or ministry in the case of priests, not realising that a very high percentage reoffended.

    Finally. the Department of Education more often than not ignored very abusive teachers in primary and secondary schools throughout the country for decades and teachers’ unions likewise did very little to remove such teachers.

    It was only about 15 years ago, when survivors of abuse felt free to tell their stories and be heard in the process, that it finally dawned on society – and not just the church – how appalling a crime sexual abuse is and the great damage it has caused.

    Of course one can say the leaders in the Catholic Church should have known better, but in the context of the time they unfortunately did not. They failed – as other professions likewise failed. If bishops have to resign, then, in justice, leaders of other professions and statutory bodies who made serious errors of judgment in this matter should likewise resign. (Letter to the Editor of the Irish Times; Thursday, December 31, 2009)

  • fitzjameshorse: in pretty much all media reporting/commentary (the line can get blurry) on church abuse scandals the same people keep being inteviewed: Colm O’Gorman, Andrew Madden and Marie Collins.

  • TellMeMa

    FitzjamesHorse: Certainly the crisis in the Catholic Church in Ireland is manna from heaven (so to speak) for those who like to go on about the whore of Babylon in big tents near Ballymena. And the new more sophisticated “intellectual” sectarianism found on Internet message Boards.

    You have said it very succinctly. I have been mentioning this at much more length on a couple of other threads. The only thing I might disagree with you is your defining the sectarianism as “sophisticated”. Ignorant, hating and intense would be better adjectives.

    And thank you Brian for creating these threads in an even-handed manner, without prejudice as the legal eagles would say.

  • shane

    This would be the same people who have been abused and speak on their own and on behalf of other victims.


    I am not sure I believe your disinterest is as disinterested as you say.

  • granni trixie

    Talk of a media witch hunt (which there
    undoubtedly is) and of the distortion of applying standards of today to the past, leaves out that outside of the church, most of us knew/know that always sexual abuse is wrong. In professions such as teaching we knew it was wrong and would have expec ted the rigors of the law to prevail.

    Only personnel within the priesthood seem to have found mental gymnastics ways and words to avoid that. ie they have lost their moral compas (as others on Slugger have said).

    I keep returning to a cultural explantion for such a situation, which I link to the dominance of the rule of celebacy and lack of women and children in the mix.

  • pippakin, by what means did they acquire the right to speak on behalf of other victims?

  • granni trixie

    I am not convinced by the celibacy argument. It may be true but does not explain similar problems in other faiths.

    I have known of incest victims disowned by their family for reporting the abuse.

    I do not have a clue how the Catholic church ever got itself into this situation. It certainly was not the only institution to abuse children, but its cover up appears to have been stronger, more threatening (in some cases) and over a far longer period.

  • joeCanuck

    Those who say that those who protected, yes, protected, paedophiles are innocent of wrongdoing because there were no written rules should examine their consciences. I know, you know, and certainly the bishops knew, that this was morally repugnant. Protecting the Institution was far more important to the church princes than protecting the children.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Thank you.
    I put the word “intellectual” in quotation marks and of course it would have been more clear if I had done the same with “sophisticated”.
    I make the point that the unsophisticated preacher in the big tent outside ballymena would claim to love catholics and hate Catholicism and then launch into anti catholic vitriol.
    The “sophisticated intellectual” on Internet Message Boards would probably think he was superior in some way to the ballymena preacher man but essentially its the same poison with a coat of “respectability”.

    granni trixie..not for the first time gets to the heart of the issue. Celibacy itself. And the role of Women.
    When Pope Paul VI spoke out against contraception…when most of his Flock were in favour, it led to the same Faithful turning attention to other matters….celibacy, gay clergy, women priests, married priests.

    A Church still clinging to that cant be credible. The influx of Anglicans largely because of ordination of women has shown the Church to be a refuge for right wing nut jobs. Liberal Catholiism a real factor in the 1960s and 1970s is all but gone.

    Theres a certain irony that Republicanism is linked to the Catholic Church in Ireland.
    And Unionism is linked to Monarchy and the Whig Revolution.
    In an ideal world Republicans would be Protestant and Unionists/Monarchists would be Catholic.

    But as the MP for North Antrim once said “the best Protestants in Ireland are the Catholics”

  • FJH et al

    Celibacy does not make a man a paedophile.

    It does not make a nun or priest a sadist.

    It does not explain the cover up of abuse over decades.

    As for extremists of whatever colour or church, what has that got to do with the price of eggs? The Catholic church has, yet again, been caught in a lie and a cover up. All that is needed is for the Catholic church to obey the same laws that apply to all of us and for the state to play a full and proper role in the education and protection of our children.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    on the question of the same people getting interviwed Colm O’Gorman,Andrew Madden, Marie Collins, I think thats normal. After all they are extremely articulate.
    Michael O’Brien, another regular interviewee, is obviously not as conventionally articulate….but his passion and shee honesty is his greater strength.
    The Victims deserve our respect.
    But teasing out nuance witha Victim……Jamie Bulgers mother or locally Willie Fraser…is often a fairly thankless task.
    We must always worry about the extent to which “Spokespersons” are representative but in the absence of any other spokespersons, the regulars on Prime Time and UTV News have to be accepted.
    As I have said in relation to Victims threads on political violence, I dont know how i would react as a victim or parent of victim……willie fraser or alan mcbride.
    Likewise if I was a victim of clerical abuse, I dont know how Id react.
    Undoubtedly some victims spokespersons have an agenda but that agenda is driven by the crimes committed against them.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    oh its quite true that celibacy does not make paedophiles.
    after all the paedophiles have broken that vow so they arent celibate.

    its not celibacy itself…..its a distorted view of sexuality.

  • lamhdearg

    Man is an animal, One wonder’s how many celibate lion’s there are, And how they fit in with the rest of the lion society.

  • TellMeMa

    FJH: Celibacy itself
    In one of the articles I noted (too late in the day to find it), it was argued that celibacy was not the issue, because paedophilia and child sex abuse occurs in non-celibate institutions (both religious and secular) at the same or higher rate as in the Catholic Church.

    Only 0.8% of the Catholic clergy were paedos (I am assuming most of them have now been outed and expunged so I say it in the past tense). While there would have been other sex abusers in the 99.2% non-paedo clergy, at least 95% would still be practising celibates.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I wish I was as confidant that most if not all paedos were “out”. I doubt it.
    While obviously figures are vague, I read some years ago that the Catholic Church in Ireland believed that only about 60% of (then current)priests had not broken the celibacy vow. The vast majority of these of course were not in any way “criminal”.
    We also have to factor in people ho have left the priesthood (not necessarily because of celibacy issues).
    As there are more Catholic priests in Ireland IN THEIR NINETIES than in their 30s, I reckon celibacy is not much of an issue for them.

  • joeCanuck

    at least 95% would still be practising celibates

    I deny that. A large percentage, reportedly as high as 60% in some jurisdictions are practising homosexuals, and there is nothing wrong with that, apart from the incongruity of such being advisors to women on matters of sexuality or family planning.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I think these figures are very suspect.
    Further to my post #18 it was assumed that the percentage who had broken celibacy was about 50-50 gay and straight.
    So if my figures are more accurate that would mean that 25% of 40% ie 10% are “practising homosexuals”.
    I suppose we could assume that the ratio of homosexuality among the celibate is the same at 10% ut even allowing for bisexuality and asexuality I doubt it would ever reach 60% of practising homosexuals.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    oops spot the error……25/75 gay/straight……too late at night for maths.

  • I wonder if, in some way, some of the sexual abusers of children, managed to convince themselves that assaulting a child was not the same as having sex with an adult. Its just an errant thought, but why would the church protect them? The church has had absolutely no problem booting out priests who had heterosexual affairs. In such cases the dust really did not touch their heels…

  • I cannot wholly agree with FitzjamesHorse’s contention that in “an ideal world Republicans would be Protestant and Unionists/Monarchists would be Catholic”, but it raises interesting questions.

    Unionism, as I understand it, involves loyalty, attachment and allegiance to the British state. The British state has been a Republic, implicitly, since the 1688 Revolution. In the Georgian era it was an aristocratic republic, in the Victorian era it became a bourgeois republic, in the modern era it is a general democratic republic. The flexible political structures layed down by the Glorious Revolution is the real reason Britain is distinguished in Europe as never having suffered a violent revolution.

    Irish Republicanism is a Franco-American import and has relatively recent origins. The Catholic masses were sentimentally Jacobite well into the latter half of the 18th century, but Gaelic Ireland’s attachment to the Stuart cause was motivated more out of expediency and bore little resemblence to the doctrinaire legitimism professed by Tories and High-Church Anglicans in England. The tenuity of this attachment facilitated an easy transition to Republicanism. Pearse said that the history of 19th century Ireland might be summarized as the efforts of a mob to realise itself as a nation. It was O’Connell (an English Whig in the pay of the Protestant Ascedancy) who roused this mob and gave them coherent political expectations.

    In any society a church usually reflects the society in which it operates. A people make up a church not vice versa. In Europe, the feudal order that developed with the creeping collapse of the Roman Empire was easily combined with Catholic hierarchy; whereas in Ireland Catholicism was acculturated to the local society (hence the priest replaced the druid, and the local lord’s son became the hereditary abbot). Thus Catholicism was usually seen as allied to the forces of ‘progress’ in Ireland and ‘reaction’ in Europe. French Catholics hankered over a restoration of the Bourbons; while Irish Catholics, soliciting Anglican Disestablishment, were advancing arguments about confessional equality which would have been anathema to Pius IX.

  • joeCanuck

    You missed my two caveats; reportedly and some.
    I have had extensive mathematical, including statistical, training to know that surveys, polls etc, have to be approached with a high degree of understanding of their limitations and the errors which can be associated with them.

  • joeCanuck

    To go back to the heading on this thread, don’t forget that it wasn’t a low level burglary of an office that brought about the unprecedented ignominious resignation of a President of the USA but a needless, stupid, cover-up.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    youre right of course. to some extent I was playing with definitions.
    Jacobotism is my alleged field of expertise and I like to throw the word or thought into these threads……on some occasions its even vaguely relevant.
    what I said was a gross generalisation….youve summed up the quasi republic of Britain accurately. Jacobites and Legitimists are quick to point out that the British monarchy is not a monarchy at all…it is too compromised by the events beginning with the 1688 coup d’etat as they would see it.
    the point i was making…badly…was that the unionists/protestants tend to rally round the portrait and imagery of monarchy but their true ally is the defacto republic of the glorious revolution.

    conversely in the 19th century Irish Catholicism offically hostile to the republicanism of 1798….became entwined with republicanism which many in mainland Europe would perceive as a contradiction.

    in some ways this alliance of REPUBLIC and Catholic Church is unlikely …the church in Ireland has arguably behaved like a monarchy.
    and those chickens are coming home to roost with a vengeance

  • FJH

    I completely agree with you.

    The Catholic Church in Ireland has behaved like an old style monarchy and the chickens are indeed coming home to roost.

    Perhaps it will now evolve into the ‘constitutional’ monarchy it needs to be to survive!

  • georgieleigh

    This site has been taken over by gobshites.

    Tell Me Horseholes.

    When I think of the talent that was here….

    Fair play to you Drifter, JoeC, Darth, and the ever erudite and excellent fear dearg, stalingrading it out.

    I’ve looked at my comrades and I’m thinking of converting to Unionism.

    Good Night.

  • joeCanuck

    Why!, I thank you George. I have been thinking I am but one of Mick’s barflies and am close to retirement from Slugger.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Far from being a cover up he did everything right on this one. Can it be that this was more in line with how cardinal Brady deals with these matters?

    I have to admit that I was so mad watching the UTV shock revelations which sensational question the authority of two bishops. Such nonsense. Absolute twaddle. Two cases which were referred to the police. The one involving Brady was said to be a cover up. As a lawyer, I was taken aback by that misleading story. A settlement has a confidentiality clause and is now considered a cover up! Every employer who settles an discrimination case is covering up discrimination then. Every hospital that settles a negligience case is covering up negligience. Confidentiality and No admission of liability are the two mainstays of most settlements. Why exaggerrate these scandals to tarnish unjustly someones reputation? The scandals are bad enoughto sell papers on their own!

  • Kevsterino

    I’m with you on this one, Lionel Hutz, attorney at law.

    I think the story is like oilmen drilling a mile deep when there are pools of oil on the surface.

    There is enough of a story in the Church/Sex scandals that are just plain awful without making such mountains out of molehills as this.

  • Paddy

    Colm O’Gorman is not a victim. He was of Leaving Cert age when he was cavorting with the late Fr sean Fortune. He has made a careeer and a few lucrative globe trotting documentaries of of his experiences.

    Shane: People here do not want well thought out posts like yours. They want posts that conform to their shallow prejudices.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    If it helps, I should prolly tell you that I will be out of the country for a couple of weeks and not have as ready access to the internet.

  • padraig

    [b]’the Church’s sclerotic spokemen ‘[/b]

    [i]ageism, agism [ˈeɪdʒɪzəm]
    (Sociology) discrimination against people on the grounds of age; specifically, discrimination against the elderly[/i]

    Its wonderful how Anti- Catholic hate can peak out some times like a dirty pair of nickers from under an attempt to put on a classy dress.

    The terrible indictment of the Church here appears to be that its leaders are too old. At least for Brian.

    Ahhh its a hard old life.

  • Cynic2

    I am not anti-Catholic. I think that overall the Catholic Church has often been a huge force for good in the world and in promoting civilisation – despite its many mistakes over centuries. What the hell, its made up of fallible human beings.

    I also don’t think Brady should go at all. At the time he attended the meeting that started all this he was a very small cog in a very big authoritarian wheel. Had he spoken up it would not have made a difference and he would have been crushed or sent for ‘re-education’, probably somewhere nice and tropical.

    What’s being missed in all of this is that Ireland wasn’t an isolated case. What do we see in the US and Germany too – victims being asked to sign contracts with offers of compensation – €20k in Germany and similar amounts in Ireland – with a clear ‘no publicity’ clause and a commitment that they will never speak again to anyone about what happened to them. I also understand that some of the Irish contracts went further and the victims had to agree that the case would be dealt with by the Church under Canon Law not the civil authorities. The contracts also seem to have remarkably similar terms

    Now forgive me, but when I see this but am told that it was local Bishops doing all this, I am forced to remember that I didn’t come up the Lagan in a bubble. It appears we actually have at work a central policy directed by the Vatican and implemented in different jurisdictions across the world.

    It is clear that there was an immense cover up of what appears to have been institutionalised corruption that put the interest of Mother Church over those of abused children.

    Indeed, we shouldn’t be surprised at this. At the time this was at its peak in the early 1980’s the curia was partly controlled by a group of corrupt men linked to some very shady financial dealings with the mafia and the Vatican Bank was a vehicle for a major money laundering scam. Some even allege that a Pope was murdered as part of a cover up.

    Even leaving aside the wilder allegations, against that backdrop, what was the problem of a few kiddie fiddling priests? But this slow unpeeling of the evidence is immensely damaging to the Church. Its shameful and the Pope needs to out it and set the tone of the future. However, I genuinely fear that he won’t and in the longer term the Church will suffer.

  • granni trixie

    “cavorting with FR Sean Fortune” – shame on you Paddy. No ifs or buts.

  • BryanS

    80% of clerical acts of sexual abuse re against boys while in society at large 80% of sexual abuse is against girls. There has to be a message here. And by the way when was celibacy introduced to the catholic church and why? it is a relatively new invention is it not?

  • Bryan, do take into account that priests were usually much more likely to be around boys alone than girls. Up until the early 90s, serving at the altar was restricted to boys. Priests also taught exclusively in boys’ schools.

  • Cynic2


    Get real. If I work in an all male environment and am straight, I am not going to start fancying colleagues just because of availability. The priesthood in most Christian faiths seems to attract a significant % of gay people. And good luck to them

  • FitzjamesHorse

    ER suppos you were locked up for 25 years in an all male prison?

  • George

    80% of clerical acts of sexual abuse re against boys while in society at large 80% of sexual abuse is against girls.

    Where did you get those figures? Could you provide a source?

  • Cynic, I’m not sure we can compare paedophilia to homosexuality. The former seems to be a psychological disorder. Even heterosexuals abuse male boys.

    George, this report in the Sunday Business Post from a few years back is instructive:

    Sunday, December 07, 2003
    By Vincent Browne

    The scale of sexual abuse and rape in Irish society is shocking, as revealed in a report by the organisation that undertook the survey of clerical abuse for the Irish Catholic Bishops.

    Only a tiny fraction of abusers are members of the clergy and only a miniscule proportion of these sexual crimes are reported to the gardai or, indeed, to anyone else. It is an epidemic of enormous proportions, one largely ignored or diminished by the state, politicians and commentators.

    The startling facts of abuse are:

    * One in five women (20.4 per cent) reported experiencing contact sexual abuse in childhood and a further one in ten reporting non-contact sexual abuse. (That is 30 per cent of all women being sexually abused as children.)

    * More than one in 20 women (5.6 per cent), over 110,000 in all,were raped as children.

    * One in five women reported experiencing contact sexual assault as adults with 6.1 per cent of women experiencing unwanted penetrative sex (ie rape). That is over 76,000 women raped during their adulthood.

    * One in six men (16.2 per cent) reported experiencing sexual abuse in childhood, with a further one in 14 reporting non-contact abuse.

    * 2.7 per cent of all men were subjected to penetrative sex (anal or oral sex) in childhood. That is around 12,000 men raped as children.

    * One in ten men (9.7 per cent) experienced contact sexual assault as adults and 0.9 per cent of men were subjected to unwanted penetrative sex as adults.

    * Most of the perpetrators of child sexual abuse were men (89 per cent) acting alone.

    * In the case of those who abused girls, a quarter were family members, half were nonfa m ily but known to the abused girl and a quarter were strangers.

    * In the case of the abuse of boys, only one in seven (14 per cent) was a family member, two-thirds were non-family but known to the abused boy and only one in five were strangers.

    * Only a small fraction of child sex abusers (3.7 per cent) were members of the clergy and a smaller fraction (2.5 per cent) were fathers.

    * In the case of sexual violence against adult women, one-quarter of the perpetrators were partners or ex-partners.

    These startling revelations are in a report, Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI), undertaken by the Health Services Research Centre at the Department of Psychology, Royal College of Surgeons, the body that conducted the recently published report on clerical abuse.

    The report was commissioned by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Over 3,000 people, randomly selected, were interviewed anonymously by telephone.

    This information was published a year ago, but caused little fuss. Remarkably, only 47 per cent of those who disclosed information to the interviewers for this survey said they had reported the abuse to anybody else. The remainder had never previously disclosed it.

    A tiny fraction (1 per cent) of men who had been abused as an adult, and only 7.8 per cent of women had reported their experiences to the gardai. In the case of child sex abuse, only about 10 per cent of victims reported their abuse to the gardai.

    The phenomenon of sexual crime is by far the most startling of all criminality in the state andyetalmostno attention is focused on it, apart from clerical sex abuse, which is a minor, almost incidental, part of the problem, although, obviously neither minor nor incidental for the victims of clerical abuse.

    For those of us who have ranted for ages about clerical abuse, perhaps a more balanced assessment of the phenomenon is overdue.

    (The report commissioned by the Irish bishops on clerical child sexual abuse, Time to Listen, is published by Liffey Press.The SAVI report is published under the title Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland is also published by Liffey Press.)

  • granni trixie

    I am really disappointed in Bishop Donal McKeown’s response on TV just now,when asked would he welcome an investigation in NI as in the South. While saying that was fine,he also went down the well worn road of saying that such an investigation must take in not just the Church but on all of society.

    Now as I have previously posted, I do believe myself that there is much to be learnt by contextualising this abberation within the social and cultural context from which it emerged. But that is not the same as McKeown’s attempt to water down placing the focus of initial enwuyiries where it belongs – on culpabile individuals and systemic coverup within the Catholic church.
    As indicated I thought better of Donal McKeown and am disappointed.

  • granni trixie, I do think a comprehensive sex abuse inquiry is needed. Sexual abuse of children knows no political or denominational confines. Currently Germany is undertaking an inquiry into industrial schools operated by the Lutheran Church (the industrial school system originated in Germany); it’s said that it’ll be the equivalent of the Ryan Report.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I was also disappointed at Bishop McKeown. He is more media savvy and decent than he appeared but my thought was that this was going to be the tone of the Papal Letter….sexualisation of children and the family environment.
    Of course if done for right reason, there is no issue.
    But Bishop McKeown came accross as trying to deflect criticism.
    Of course decent ordinary priests are a bit concerned that the Church has not fought back more stridently. That there is a lot of abuse that they know about which is under seal (properly in most catholics views) and that they alone are taking flak.

  • granni trixie

    But how would the Church ‘fight back’, stridently or otherwise? Fight back implies to me ‘no case to answer’. What analysis would suffice other than to agree that there was systemic and individual failures, and to show that there is the will now at least to cooperate with relevant info and then to ensure that there is an adequate system in place better it right by cooperating in uncovering all relevant info.

    Tell you what, they better start praying that Ian Elliot does not jump ship – his leadership and expertise seems to be their last hope (how ironic).

  • FitzjamesHorse

    I genuinely pity any young man who is actually considering the priesthood, a normal enough aspiration in the early 1970s for many young men. To consider such a career/vocation then would have been considered a bit strange in another world kinda way.
    Of course many of those same young men did not pursue it or left soon afterwards as they realised that the Church and the late 20th century were growing further apart.
    One such person that I know (he left after about 8 years and is now happily married) claims that “obedience” is actually harder than “chastity”.
    Certainly with £45,000 available to settle a law case, poverty is not a major problem (for some!!!).

    To their credit, the mission tent firebrands dont seem to be making much of an issue of it all. The sophisticated bigot who despise religion (people who think like Polly Toynbe) are making the running along with those who find Tommy Tiernan, Ed Byrne and Dara O’Briain hilarious in their 2010 “No Pope Here-ism”.
    Its a mess.
    A strident fight back???
    I dont know. But the Truth has to involve saying some unpalatable things about other people…maybe.
    Cardinal Brady obviously has no time for this Father Quinn. And as Ive said I think he looked in a better position last night than he did on Wednesday.
    There is a feeling that the UTV report on Miss X and Father Quinn misfired. The Cardinal actually emerging with more credit (IN THIS INSTANCE) than UTV.

  • Lionel Hutz

    The Cardinal has certainly come out better in my eyes. One of the reasons for the reactions of many Catholics is a sense of disbelief that Sean Brady would be implicated in any way in cover up. That’s why his credibility has taken more of a knock than Hegarty, in short because Brady had alot of credibility to be knocked. This latest allegation would most likely be more akin to how he handles the problems when he is ‘the manager’ perhaps explaining his incredulity last sunday.

    I didn’t think he would survival until two things happened, martin mcguinness’ comments and now this. Both will have the faithful backing him. Prior to that, Andrew Brown’s comments were hard to disagree with.

  • Lionel Hutz
  • TellMeMa

    Sins of omission or carelessness are not just a Catholic hierarchy thing. One of countless examples:

  • Lionel Hutz

    TellMeMa, I understand what you are doing with regards to trying to put the church’s problems in context. But it can be a double edged sword. There is a difference between a failing and a cover-up. I believe what Cardinal Brady did was a failing but there were many cover-ups in the Church and that has to be rooted out.

  • Mayoman

    Shane, you don’t think it odd that a single ‘profession’ can account for 3.7% of all abusers? Lets take very rough calculations: about 5000 priests, some 0.15% of the adult population, but responsible for 3.7% of abuse cases? Combined with the absolute (and, I have to say, very naive) trust that many people had in the organisation, which makes it a special case in terms of access, I think 3.7% of abusers is appalling.

    Based on your figures Shane, and some very rough calculations (assuming approximately 20% of the adult population are fathers) the data suggest that priests are some 20-fold more likely to be an abuser than non-clergy members of the public and some 200-fold more likely to abuse than a father, and that is something of which parents and child protection agencies should be very cognisant.

  • TellMeMa

    Lionel: I agree with you entirely.

    Yes, I am trying to balance out the matter in the face of the comments of anti-Catholic secularists etc.

  • The Catholic church has been a haven for child abusers for decades. It may be over, but only if it is clear to all that accusations of assault must be reported to the Garda in every case, and responsibility for education etc is held by the state.

    I am not sure it serves any purpose to demand Brady resign. He does not have my respect, but then I am not Catholic. The question is who is to replace him, even the Pope is tainted! Since it is unlikely they can just grab a student and install him, they may have to make do with what little they have.

  • Mayoman, a few thoughts:

    that statistic also includes members of religious orders.

    the number of clergy has roughly halved from the 1960s. Presumably a lot of abuse indicated in the survey is historic.

    priests had greater intimate access to children than members of most other professions. They also were much more likely to be trusted and venerated.

    paedophiles tend to concentrate in professions where they have access to children. It’s more a case of paedophiles becoming priests than priests becoming paedophiles.

    it’s probable that victims of priestly abuse are more conscious of his ‘professional’ profile, and more likely to report or acknowledge abuse in the first instance. Clerical abuse reports only became widespread after Brendan Smyth was exposed (a watershed), prompting other victims of priestly abuse to come forward. This may skew the proportions.

    the most comprehensive study into clerical abuse in any country is the John Jay Institute’s report drawn up for the American Catholic bishops’ conference. It found that about 4% of priests and deacons serving in the US between 1950 and 2002 had been accused of sexual abuse of someone under 18. In 1994, Hofstra University researcher Carol Shakeshaft undertook a study for the US government of 225 cases of sexual abuse in the teaching profession in New York City; it found up to 5% of teachers had been accused of sex abuse but warned that the vast majority of abuse wasn’t reported. She submitted written testimony to the Colorado legislature stating: “The physical sexual abuse of students in public schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

  • About 5% of Irish priests have been accused of abuse (many of those have been cleared)

    The HSE or the Department of Education do not investigate abuse they deem ‘historic’.

  • Mayoman

    Shane, do you think we need an investigation into the education system? If you do please say so. But even if it is needed, it in no way excuses the paedophilia of the Catholic church and doesn’t affect the increased risk of abuse associated with priests relative to other sections of society. I have a problem with the way that the 3.7% was presented. It is not an almost negligible part of the problem but clearly indicates a propensity for abuse by a certain section of society in a position of access to children (and therefore, is independent of whether the priesthood attracts paedophiles or not – the risk is the risk). Put another way, if child protection agnecies could identify groups responsible for whole percentages of abuse, be they priests, or any other profession, there job would be very much easier. I also found your paragraph on reporting of clerical abuse a bit confusing, seeming to say it was easier to report clerical abuse, but it wasn’t common until after a certain point in time. While I would certainly, agree with the latter point, I have no doubt that much clerical abuse has been left unreported. The basis for the 100-fold difference, being based on a comparison of data that simply cannot be collected (number of abuse case NOT reported in the educational or clerical setting) cannot be taken as based on aything like meaningful data (but happy to be corrected on this).

  • joeCanuck

    it’s probable that victims of priestly abuse are more ……likely to report or acknowledge abuse in the first instance.
    Really? Why is that?

    about 4% of priests and deacons serving in the US between 1950 and 2002 had been accused of sexual abuse of someone under 18
    up to 5% of teachers had been accused of sex abuse but warned that the vast majority of abuse wasn’t reported

    So, you want us to believe that children abused by godlike figures called priests are more likely to have reported it.
    Where do you draw these imaginings from? Please don’t say a report commissioned by the accused.
    This attempt to deflect attention from Irish problems just won’t work. Same goes to you, TellMeMa. I wish more children had told their Mas.

  • The phrase: bewitched, bothered and bewildered, springs to mind…

  • joeCanuck

    Your Honour, I may have acted a wee bit inappropriately, but in fact the child misunderstood my affection. And what’s more, Your Honour, others did it too and some were worse than me, so please go easy on me

  • And what did you do at school today???

  • joeCanuck

    I annoyed Sister Matilde. She beat me and half the class on our arms with her big ruler and our arms all swoll up. And it wasn’t our fault; we’re only 5 and she sent us out for 15 minutes to look at the partial eclipse of the sun and we didn’t hear her ring her little bell. They always ring the big bell when you have to go back inside. And she locked the door and wouldn’t let us in for another 15 minutes. Then she beat us for being disobedient; she said it was a sin. But it worked out ok because she went and got the other nuns and they put cold compresses on our arms to make the swelling go down.

    True story, Feb 25th 1952.

  • joe

    It happened before 1952 and it has definitely happened since. I hope we are seeing the end of it now.

    Maybe it even happened to the nun who committed this…

  • joeCanuck

    I’m not ashamed in the least, pippakin, to admit that I and my sister-in-law who was also beaten that day have since danced on that bitch’s grave.

  • Joe

    I have to confess that if I thought the creatures who broke my mothers arm was alive today. I would seek her out…for a serious talking to…

  • Mayoman, I am not sure whether an investigation into the education system should be undertaken. I’m quite certain it would uncover a lot of unsavoury facts- for that reason I suspect the government would hesitate to do so. I agree with you that whatever the rate of child abuse in wider society in no mitigates the culpability of priestly abusers, but it does help us understand paedophilia as a widespread phenomenon.

    Joe, your comment is erratic and you clearly didn’t understand what I was saying. My point was that priests were so exceptionally venerated it gave an added incentive for paedophiles to join the priesthood – assuming they could abuse with impunity.

  • joeCanuck

    Joe, your comment is erratic and you clearly didn’t understand what I was saying. My point was that priests were so exceptionally venerated it gave an added incentive for paedophiles to join the priesthood – assuming they could abuse with impunity.

    Fair enough. I didn’t understand that you were making that argument.

  • joeCanuck

    I think my point stands though. Because they were venerated, god like figures I called them, means that it is more probable that the children didn’t report them. The dam certainly has burst now, though, and rather than beating about the bush with vague, sometimes unbelieveable, excuses, they should bite the bullet and excise the “cancer” at the heart of an overwhelming innocent priesthood.

  • True, Joe, but this survey was conducted only a few years ago. What I mean is that paedophiles might have assumed in the past – most were probably ordained in the 60s and 70s – that lay victims would never report them because of their elevated social status. It’s probably the exact opposite now – a victim would have more confidence reporting or acknowleging priestly abuse at the present time because it’s so much in the public domain.

  • It is obvious that the church was not the only hiding place for paedophiles, the cover up has been exposed and hopefully eradicated.

    I hope the above applies to the brutality as well. I can think of no acceptable reason for it, unless the nuns/priests had been victims in their turn, which if true shows how far back it goes.

    On this thread are two instances of brutality, one in 1926, the other in 1952. Two strangers can quote instances, what does that tell us…

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, pippakin. The sad thing about all of this is that parishioners all over the country will be looking at their priests and wondering “Is he one of them?”. That’s intolerable. The Church needs desperately to open their files and expose the criminals before they are all destroyed. There are many many good people. The nun I described was certainly an exception in that convent; but we knew what to expect before we went in to her classroom; her reputation proceeded her and her sisters helped to cover up her propensity for violence. The example I quoted was but one example of her exceptional brutality.

  • joe

    Granni Trixie enjoyed her time in the convent. I said on another thread that I believe there were many working selflessly for their communities.

    You are so right all of their good work is tarnished by the cover up of the crimes committed by their colleagues. It is sad and demoralising for future members of the clerical orders.

  • pippakin and others,

    there was a fascinating ‘must-see’ documentary on the Irish missionary movement on RTE a few weeks ago. It is on the RTE iplayer until the 23th March. Regardless of what one thinks of their motivations, I certainly recommend seeing it:

  • shane

    Im not ignoring you, am downloading doc. very, very slowly…

    It has been written on other threads here, that Ireland/Europe are just the tip of the iceberg, the allegation is there is worse in Africa. I sincerely hope that is not so, but have no firm information either way.

  • pippakin, please do tell us what you thought of it after you’ve seen it.

  • shane

    Perfectly happy to, but, I think youre avin a laugh…

  • Me? No. I never laugh.

  • shane

    Youre on then, assuming of course the wretched b/b doesnt pack up.

    I will give my impression of Michael Parkinson, Johnathan Ross (without the language) in due course…

  • shane

    Sorry, I think Im going to let you down on the review slot. The b/b keeps cutting out.

  • Munsterview

    I have been following the postings regarding Child Sexual Abuse with more than a little interest and I am surprised that for all the information posted, how little of what went on is appreciated or how openly some of this abuse happened.

    My National schooling took place in a small two roomed mixed gender country school in Mid Munster. In most cases there was a male Principle teacher for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth year classes. It was 100% R.C. as were all the small rural and village schools in the region. Preparing for Confirmation was the big event of the senior classes. Once completed all schools were visited by a Religious Diocesan Inspector.

    The format was the same as for other lesson examinations, fifteen or so young teenage boys and girls stood around the masters table in a half circle and when selected each read their lesson or answered a question etc. Two or three students would also have to come forward and stand at the side of the table where they would also ask questions on the lessons of the other students.

    The same format was followed for the special visit of the religious examiner, he sat in the Masters chair while the Master or presiding teacher stood in the back of the room. This Clerical Religious Inspector then did a brief examination group process with plenty jokes thrown in. Then came the up by the side of the table routine. There usual practice ended, his chair was relocated to the back and side corner of the table.

    This was in the early 1960’s, most boys still wore short pants and girls knee length dresses. The inspector pulled his chair over to the side, he would have used the exchange to identify the quite ones, they were first out, a boy followed by a girl by a boy. from the outset his hand went around each waist, each were pulled close for full side contact to begin with then each had their buttocks stroked and squeezed for a few minutes before his hand then went openly up a trouser leg and stayed there fondling the boys genitals and they were kidded, mocked and humiliated by remarks like ” Oh I think he likes this” etc if they stopped reading or asking questions or went silent.

    The girls got the very same treatment when their turns came only the fondling lasted a bit longer, especially if he got someone that responded a bit giggly. The sessions lasted about an hour and in this time he would have got through over half the group. I stress all during this time that those of the senior classes not making confirmation at that time together with the all the third and fourth mixed classes were in the room at their seats and while in part screened off by the half circle, most could also see in part what was going on as could the Master at the back of the class room.

    Four schools a day meant meant around around twenty boys and twenty girls subjected to this treatment. He was the religious Inspector for around. Since some villages had two rooms of senior classes, and he was responsible for examining around twenty classes in the region, that made somewhere two hundred pupils openly groped and molested through his ‘examinations’ each term and he continued this practice for several years.

    The is no excuse for the teachers that stood by and watched this happen, but neither was there one parental complaint that I know of and they all knew it was happening. A bigger disgrace for them at that time would arise it their child was ‘ held back’ from confirmation as that usually happened to somebody ‘not the full penny’ as the saying went then and that stigma carried all sorts of social implications!

    I should also hasten to add that I never heard of any of these teachers acting in any inappropriate with pupils other than by not intervening during the events described.

    Old reporters of this areas regional newspapers know this story, but to expose it and bring the matter to public attention would cost them half their readership of grandparents and their extended families. This is one sleeping dog that everyone wants to let lie.

    Yes what has happened in Clerical child sexual abuse is absolutely appalling for each and every individual victim, their immediate and extended families. However clerical abuse while a significant part of the abuse, is only just that, a significant part as can be seen from the next posting.

  • Munsterview

    The greater Child Sexual Abuse scandals relate to families, extended families and civil society as a whole. The then Cork Examiner broke a story of Pedophile abuse and child prostitution in Cork City and it’s environs in the mid nineties. There are six full pages of details there, and these only scratched the surface. It was not even a nine day wonder, it the flap lasted a week at most and things continued as before.

    Two years back I attended a series of lectures on various subjects of a political/social nature in Scotland. A leading surgeon who had made a professional study the use of children for sexual purposes in an instutionalised way laid bare the extent of this in the heart of the British Establishment. He named names and backed these up with accounts of incidents that had surfaced in the public domain. The incidents of this activity he in response to a question from me, could be expected to be somewhat the same in Dublin and in most European major cities.

    This why aside from the odd indigent statement, that our politicians North And South will not come to grips with the problem in any meaningful way, any serious investigation they will start is bound by law of averages to end at the doors of some of their own colleagues. We are a long, long away as a society from being ready to grasp this particular nettle and with good reason. Look at those in the South that have been exposed for assisting and facilitating pedophiles, they have been in the top tiers of the State infrastructure.

    One yardstick for this tolerance, look at the various national offices these people held in cultural organizations and voluntary organizations before their exposure and resignations. Now see how many had to resign from their cultural activities, speaking engagements etc. The activities of these people have at very least widespread social toleration arising from their perceived and indeed actual power and influence.

    As far as Clerical Child Sexual abuse being some sort of watershed; in terms of what other sectors of C.S.A. is out there we aint seen nothing yet!

  • Munsterview

    The extent of the abuse of children may never be known, and perhaps for our peace of mind we should never find out.

    We now have the Garda reports and the UK has the CRB reports, these are intended to, and should, prevent known abusers gaining employment with children and vulnerable people.

    All anyone can do is safeguard the children and let everyone know that no matter how long the robe, they are not above or beyond the law.

    Today the teacher, or indeed parent, who allowed such ‘fondling’ to take place, would be as guilty as the perpetrator.

  • Cynic2


    Forgive me but what were all the parents on? If that had happened in the North in a Protestant school the parents would have lynched him. My late father was a totally honest and law abiding man but if it had happened to me and I had told him I suspect that the RUC would have had to haul him away after the damage he would have done to the Inspector and the Teacher who let it happen.

    I do take a more lenient view on the physical abuse. Mores were different then and a ‘good slap’ (within reason) was much more accepted and not necessarily illegal. But sexual assault is a different thing.

  • granni trixie

    Pipakin – I know you mean well in saying I enjoyed my time th inthe Sacre heart Home but I see now that I have obviously communicated badly.

    We made our own fun, as children do, given half a chance.In my case as the Home was safer than my family home, I appreciated this and was “happy” enough. My sibling, bewing younger, missed her mum and hated every minute which alas had a most detrimental effect long term.

    My original point in bringing this up was to say that leaving out a culture of cruelty in institutions, you have to look at society/families to see why they are needed in the first place – why children end up in care.

  • Cynic2


    I don’t equate homosexuality and paedophilia at all. The original point made was an allegation that living in an all male environment made men incline to homosexuality. I think that’s nonsense. A % of the population is gay, a larger % (probably ) is bi to one degree or another and may therefore swing depending on what’s available! Many more are totally straight.

  • granni trixie

    I am sorry I misquoted you. I know you believe that some of the problems were family based, and as you know I am not convinced you are right. No doubt there were some children who came from abusive families, that is no excuse for subjecting those damaged children to further abuse, which is what happened in many cases.

    History shows many children were removed from homes, some were given new birth certificates and now cannot find out who their real families are. Some have two birth certificates. It is not all the fault of the church. The state, at the least, colluded in the process.

    It is too late now for many of the victims of the system, but it is not too late to make sure the abuse and cover up of that abuse stops.

  • Munsterview


    A little over two decades ago I was in O’Dohoghue’s pub in Dublin a by then trendy and fashionable meeting place. I was in the company of leading university professor and we were joined by another, the late and distinguished professor F.X.Martin who was also an Augustinian. About half present were recognizable public faces from the from top Establishment figures.

    A man dropped by our table and sat down, interrupting the conversation and not bothering to observe even basic good manners. He did not need to, he was one of the top civil servants in the State in one of it’s most powerful and influential offices. He had scanned the crowd present, he was top of the pecking order there and he was strutting his ‘master of the universe’ antics. he was there but not for ‘the day job’ important and all as this was.

    My companion introduced me, I ignored the outreached hand, got up from the table, asked to be excused and went up to a bar stool where I began talking with the barman. Our nearby company had seen what happened but misread the situation, for them it was a Provo V The State thing.

    He tried not to show it but he was rattled and uncomfortably, but only because he knew who I was and my real reason for spurning him. After about fifteen minutes he moved on to another table and I came back to mine.

    ” You did that rather obvious Old Boy” my professor companion said ” you could at least observe civilities whatever of your politics” My reply also heard by the nearby tables was ” This has nothing to do with politics, I will not sit at the same table or drink with a known pedophile in public !”

    My distinguished friends reply ” That is just a little failing he has!….”

    This man was also one of the leading lights of a Cultural Festival where the great and the good took themselves off to a major annual week down the country, it was a no expenses spared bash, speaking invites were eagerly sought and this man had in effect control of it’s themes and finances. My companion quickly took off after him to ‘kiss arse and grovel’ he could not afford financially or career wise to alienate him. In the small, and I should add small minded intimate circles of intellectual incest that was and still is the Dublin literati ( with a few courageous exceptions ) such a move was tantamount to ‘a kiss of death’.

    Professor F.X. was visibly upset, while he commended my courage that man held the purse strings for about ten different projects he was involved in, he had to stay neutral !

    There is a sequel, in discussing how casually accepted pedophile activity is in ruling elites, F.X. told me ( he was poor as the proverbial church mouse ) than an old university friend now a leading industrialist took him to an expensive up-market restaurant once a month or so and that there he see this individual on a regular basis having a leisurely meal in the company of a certain topical magazine editor.

    I had been giving this particular regular information about various wrongdoings in the State, little was published always ‘for legal reasons’, of course yet here I found that the intel I had regularly supplied in confidence about wrongdoing was being traded off for bigger ‘inside’, but harmless stories.

    As far as Builders, Bankers and W****** go and their friends and associates in establishment elites, those responsible for what the late George Colly referred to as ‘Low Standards In High Places’, we have not even touched this festering ball of corruption, much less lanced the boil!

    This week we see a low ranking Garda questioned for leaking information to the press that led to a Ministers resignation. How did the pleothra journalists and camera crews know the exact day and time to be outside Banker Sean Fitzpatrick’s house for his arrest at 6 am? Another one for the optics to bamboozle the public that something is being done while nothing really changes.

    Even the likes of C. could not defend this. However I always did say that banning the likes of me from the public airwaves ( has the sky fallen since it was lifted ) had little to do with silencing ‘The Boys Of The Old Brigade’ and everything to do with protecting the ‘Brown Envelope Brigade’

    They, the power elites through their minions and State apparatus continue to try and intimidate half of us who do speak out, but the other half are well bought out and like my distinguished academic friend, silenced for a shilling!

  • granni trixie

    Munsterview: I have mixed feelings about what you write. On one hand,you sound as though you are name dropping but on the other hand your story illustrates how things are as they are which is a valid reason for your piece.

    It strikes me that ones view of child abuse is directly related to ones personal experiences which is exactly the points I would make about abortion. What I mean is that part of the problem of discussing child abuse within the cuhurch or anywhere is that it is not experienced in the abstract, you have to relate it to what you know.

  • Munsterview


    I do not have any need to name drop. In cultural activity I have achieved a few recognitions for my art in my own sphere but that is another story.

    I regret the posting had to be so long and detailed as to try the patience of the readers. However to recap I wanted to to show,

    1) In Ireland as in other countries pedophiles are not just offending priests of men in dirty raincoats with a pocket full of sweets. These types are a very much a minority. The majority abuse happens inside dysfunctional or corrupt families. A significant section of this sexual use of children happens also at the very top of society where the practitioners are discreet, networked and unseen.

    2) I wanted to show how acceptable this detestable and soul destroying activity is to the establishment as a whole, this professor friend of mine had young children of his own and just did not mentally allow himself to join up the dots at what this degenerates ‘little failing’ would mean in terms of what was happening to children like his own.

    3) I also wanted to show why given this interface with establishment figures and this activity, why there is no political will or inclination to root this out rank and file.

    4) An immediate family relative has a Masters on the subject of pedophile offenders, this person is , to use the popular tv term, A Profiler whose work has been used by the F.B.I., I personally have worked with over twenty victims of C.S.A. and I have some appreciation of what is behind the headlines in terms of wrecked life’s that included suicides.

    5) From open public lectures that I attended on the subject in England by a leading surgeon in who has made study of the use of children for sexual purposes by establishment figures his life’s work in addition to his Medical activities it seems that the problem is much worse in England and much more organised, systematic and institutionalized than here.

    I have heard him publicly name leading English figures from all walks of life, backing his claims with facts that became public briefly before being quickly covered up. He also challenged these figures to sue him as he would love to further expose them. Two years and dozens of such lectures later since he gave the one I heard, he still has not been sued.

    6) A lot of English people with inside information as to the real extent of the problem of child sex abuse were expecting massive publicity and changes from the Dunblaine massacre report. Tony Blair is supposed to have received this and embargoed it for one hundred years shortly before the Iraq War. If so why?

    7) It seems the Cork Examiners six page article child sexual abuse dominate the local media for a week despite the evidence of child prostitution uncovered, it was then yesterdays news. Why did not one local politician ask a Dail Question on it?

    Those in Authority who should have exposed it, instead worked to contain, discredit and finally bury the story by tactics that included ‘of the record’ character assassination and personal harassment of those who provided information to break the story.

    It will take a watershed wake up in public opinion to provide the climate for exposure and change, we are not even close to this in Southern Politics. The Catholic Churches actions only effect their own victims for the majority of victims out there it is still business as usual and ‘Lord one day at the time’

    Finally how many under age children are missing from State Care homes in the South for over a week or even a month or months? Who gives a damm ? That indicates the measure of our concern for children at risk or involved in street prostitution to survive!