December 2017 Comments

ANON Dec 30th, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

1/2...Katherine Zappone warns over DNA testing of Tuam remains
Minister for Children claims the sampling process might preclude a dignified reburial…

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has cautioned that DNA sampling of bone material found at a former mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, might destroy the remains of children and preclude a dignified reburial.

Groups representing former residents and relatives have called for DNA testing to help identify remains.

However, Ms Zappone said while this was not “necessarily impossible”, the recent report published by an expert group had pointed to major technical challenges, as well as cost issues.

The expert group reported to Cabinet earlier this month that it would be very difficult to identify individual children through DNA sampling. They pointed to difficulties around co-mingled remains, as well as the need to take samples from living human relatives.

The report also said best samples for DNA purposes were from teeth, which were not sufficiently developed in children under two years of age. The issue of cost was also raised.

Ms Zappone said: “I’m not saying that money is not important but it is one factor among several in relation to this.”

She pointed to the need for samples from living relatives as well as difficulties collecting samples from the remains of children under two years of age.

She then pointed to another factor: “Thirdly, oftentimes in the circumstances where juvenile remains are being tested, in the effort to [get] the DNA sampling it destroys the remains.

ANON Dec 30th, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

2/2“People who want to know is it their brother or sister, but would also love to exhume and rebury the remains with the dignity and respect that the child deserves, those are the kind of things they are going to be faced with,” she said.

“Another point in the process is because of where they are and how they were put there, some of the remains are co-mingled.”

Ms Zappone said she hoped a member of the expert group, led by forensic archaeologist Niamh McCullough, and an independent facilitator could be made available when Galway County Council begins consultation with the relatives on these issues in January.

“I think it would be very helpful for a member of the team to spend some time with the families to help them to understand the detail of the technical stuff that has been found.

“I found in my conversations with them I came to a deeper understanding of what was possible and not possible,” she said.

However, Ms Zappone said ultimately she would listen to the views of the relatives.

“It is one of the most important aspects of my ministry.

I have been determined to lead the way in terms of the Government responding in a respectful way to the people affected.

“We want to find ways of reparation and healing alongside the brilliant work being done by the commission.

“The commission was established to look at burial practices and to create a social history around what was a horrific time for many women and and to look at ways they were put away and treated by Irish society.

ANON Dec 21st, 2017 @ 01:26 PM

Amanda Brunker: Hypocrisy of the Pope's visit is a slap in the abuse for abuse survivors…

I'm conflicted at drawing negativity to an institution that gives so much solace to people at this emotional time of year, but I can't help but be angry towards the Catholic Church - more specifically the Irish wing.

So the Pope's visit in 2018 is going to cost €20m, eh? And the Church is claiming it will pay for it all.

Of course it won't pay for it. All the money the Church has is the money the public has already given it. It is estimated the Church will only pay €5m towards his visit and the other €15m is expected to be funded by further donations by, yes, the public.

That said, non-Catholics will also end up paying for the pontiff to grace our shores.

The birthday boy, who turned 81 years young on Monday, will require a ridiculous amount of gardai to mind the masses - though not as much as for JP's visit in '79.

What's grinding my gears, and those of many other detractors, is the fact that money can be magically found for Pope Francis.

It's amazing how they struggle to scrape together money for the survivors of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.

Where, may I ask, is the Christianity in that? The Pope gets a holiday and Catholic victims come way down the pecking order.

I can't fathom the pain this must inflict on those men and women who were abused by paedophile priests, or kept prisoner in Magdalene Laundries and had their babies stolen from them.

Their lives must be an open wound and the hypocrisy of the church must be a constant slap in the face.

ANON Dec 21st, 2017 @ 01:22 PM

Cardinal Law deserved prison not the Pope at his funeral…

Cardinal Law should have died in jail for the role he played in enabling pedophilia within the Catholic Church…

Pope Francis will attend the funeral of Cardinal Bernard Law in Rome this week and will take part in the funeral mass, according to media reports. It is a sad reminder that even Francis is infected with the continued horrific cover-up of rape and abuse of thousands in the Boston Archdiocese under Cardinal Law.

With his presence Pope Francis will be honoring the “Harvey Weinstein of the Catholic Church,” as Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen dubbed him.

The cries of the innocent victims deserve to be heard at his mass not the 'Ave Maria.'

Law should have died in jail, not surrounded by holy men in Rome where he fled in 2002 after the truth came out.

The only thing as bad as a pedophile is a pedophile-enabler and Law was certainly that. Pope Francis has deeply wounded the abuse survivors, who see in the Pope's attendance at Law's funeral the sneaking regard that Law, who got a high level job when he fled to Rome, was held in.

Current Cardinal Sean O'Malley will not attend Cardinal Law's funeral

At least the current cardinal Sean O'Malley has made his own statement by not attending the funeral and making clear how he felt in pointed statements about Law.

“Cardinal Law served at a time when the Church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities,’’ O’Malley said. “I deeply regret that reality and its consequences.”

Thousands of children were raped and molested on Law’s watch and it would have continued only for the Boston Globe Spotlight team, which revealed Law’s role as enabler and reported all his abominable cover-up crimes.

He was forced to flee to Rome just days, apparently, before police arrested him.

The mood of his victims was wonderfully expressed by one of them, Alexa MacPherson, of Dorchester.

“I hope the gates of Hell are swinging wide open to welcome him,” said MacPherson,

ANON Dec 21st, 2017 @ 01:16 PM

Did Cardinal Law believe he could be Pope?...

The Boston Globe stated that at the time he fled to Rome "Law had become the central figure in a scandal of criminal abuse, denial, payoff, and cover up that resonates around the world."

Why did Law refuse to act on pedophile reports? Why did he send priests, many of them Irish, from parish to parish and to other states when he knew they would re-offend? Had he no common humanity with little children who he was delivering into evil when he gave molesters new parishes?

Kevin Cullen has an intriguing theory. Law thought he had a shot at being pope.
Harvard-educated, handsome and leonine, a gifted communicator, he thought the Vatican beckoned, especially as John Paul was old and infirm and there seemed no obvious successor.

Luckily that never came to pass as he would surely have been forced to resign when the news of his cover-ups became public.

Law once lorded it over the Catholics of Boston, insisting on being called “Your eminence” and kept his eye on the main prize.

He lived out his life in Rome with a sinecure post that kept him in a prominent position.

His last political effort, according to MSNBC in 2012, was as “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting" Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori's petition to investigate and crack down on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a large group of American nuns seeking a greater role in the Church.

Why am I not surprised?

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

1/2…A paedophile who went on holiday with a 15-year-old girl and her family after convincing them he was a teenager has been jailed for six years, police said.
Clinton Stothard, 31, groomed the girl on the internet and tricked her into thinking he was her 19-year-old boyfriend.

Stothard, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire also targeted a number of other girls online and encouraged them to send sexually explicit photos to him.

One of his victims, a 14-year-old from Bristol, exchanged more than 3,000 calls and texts with him during a two-week period.

Sentencing Stothard at Sheffield Crown Court last week, the judge described him as "every parent's worst nightmare" and "a shark swimming in the waters of the internet...preying on children".

Stothard previously pleaded guilty to a total of 18 charges relating to 39 offences against four children.

In addition to being jailed for six years, Stothard will also be subject to an extended period on licence for 12 months and a sexual harm prevention order which will prevent him from living with any person under 18 and allowing police to monitor his internet use.

Avon and Somerset Police identified Stothard after Barnardos raised concerns about his contact with a vulnerable girl in Bristol.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:46 AM

2/2...Following his arrest officers examined several of his electronic devices which revealed the extent of his offending.

The investigation also led to the arrest of another man who has since been jailed for four years for child sex offences.

Owen Hall, 26, of Hartcliffe, Bristol groomed the same 14-year-old Bristol girl targeted by Stothard and incited her to engage in sexual activity.

Detective Constable Kim O'Donnell, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "Clinton Stothard is a predatory paedophile who masqueraded as a 19-year-old and used a variety of aliases as he befriended and groomed his victims.

"Such was the extent of his deceit that he effectively groomed one girl's entire family - winning their trust so much they felt comfortable taking him on holiday.

"The intensity of his grooming was quite frankly shocking, with another of his victims bombarded with thousands of calls and texts over a short period of time.

"I hope the sentence handed down by the court goes some way to providing all those he preyed on with some sense of closure and that this case sends a message to those who commit such crimes, that we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society and geography will not be a barrier for us."

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:39 AM

1/2…Australian child abuse report calls for end to sanctity of confession, voluntary celibacy for clergy…

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia should introduce a law forcing religious leaders to report child abuse, including Catholic priests who are told of abuse in the confessional, according to a report into institutional child abuse released on Friday.

The 17-volume document from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse marks the end of one of the world's biggest inquiries into child abuse.

The five year investigation found "multiple and persistent failings of institutions to keep children safe, the cultures of secrecy and cover-up, and the devastating affects child sexual abuse can have on an individual's life", the commission said in a statement.

The report detailed tens of thousands of child victims, saying their abusers were "not a case of a few rotten apples".

"We will never know the true number," it read.

The report called for a National Office for Child Safety and national child safety standards, child abuse reporting and record keeping, which would cover all institutions engaged in child-related work.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the inquiry had "exposed a national tragedy".

The inquiry spanned religious, government, educational and professional organizations but heard many accounts alleging abuse cover-ups in the Australian Catholic Church, including allegations of moving priests suspected of abuse between parishes to avoid detection.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:37 AM

2/2…Of all the survivors who reported abuse in religious institutions, more than 60 percent cited the Catholic Church.

The report said the Catholic Church had demonstrated "catastrophic failures of leadership", particularly before the 1990s and that the average age of abuse victims at Catholic institutions was 11.

It said clergy who are told of child abuse in the confessional should be required by law to report it and called for the Catholic Church to make celibacy voluntary for clergy, saying it contributed to child abuse.

It also called for a new criminal offence that would make it easier to prosecute institutions who failed to protect children.

"I'm appalled by the sinful and criminal activity of some clergy, religious and lay church-workers," Australia's most senior catholic, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, said in a statement on Friday.

"I'm ashamed of the failure to respond by some church leaders, and ... I stand ready to address any systemic issues behind this."

The inquiry heard previously that the Australian Catholic Church paid A$276 million ($212 million) in compensation to thousands of child abuse victims since 1980

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:32 AM

1/2...‘Dangerous paedophile’ jailed for 18 years…

A man described by a judge as “a paedophile of the dangerous kind” has been jailed for 18 years for raping and abusing children for nearly three decades.

Peter Sharkey (47) of Mucknow Street, Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, sexually abused six children and raped two of them.

The victims were aged from nine to 16 when Sharkey attacked them.

The abuse, which took place at a number of addresses in Co Louth, continued until one of his victims went to Gardaí in April 2015.

Sharkey pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three counts of indecent assault on dates ranging from 1987 to 1990 and six counts of sexual assault committed on dates between 1997 and 2015.

He also admitted one count of rape with an object on a date in 1998 or 1999 and one count of rape in 2014.

In sentencing on Friday, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy paid tribute to the victims, saying the “trigger point” occurred when one victim, now aged 19, went to gardaí in April 2015 to report that she had been raped.

This resulted in the other five victims coming forward to report what the judge termed “extremely serious” abuse.

“Although they were isolated while the abuse was occurring, perhaps there is some comfort now in realising that together they brought him to justice,” he said.

‘Stole a piece of my soul’
Mr Justice McCarthy said several comments made by the complainants in their victim impact statements made for “very striking” reading.

“This court sees again and again victims saying they have little confidence and self-esteem and never told anyone of their secret,” he said.

Two of the girls were sisters, aged in their teens, at the time of abuse.

“He stole a piece of my soul and today I’m here to reclaim it,” one of the sisters told the court.

The other sister said she did not want to be responsible for breaking up a family and therefore buried the memories of the abuse.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

2/2“The damage cannot be undone; no child should ever have to carry this burden. I was targeted in my own home, and he left me in a constant state of fear” a fourth victim told the court.

The fifth victim said in her statement that the defendant robbed her of her childhood and said she had to sleep with her mother for months after the abuse came to light.

“Nobody knows the fear I had to live with, the man who was supposed to love and protect me,” she said.

The youngest victim, a juvenile male, told the court via video link that he blamed himself for the abuse perpetrated against him and he is left with anger and sad memories.

Most extreme category

Mr Justice McCarthy said the offending was “a gross breach of trust” and constituted “the most extreme category of offence”.

“There is no cure for paedophilia. This is a case where there is no alternative but to conclude that this man is a paedophile of the dangerous kind. I cannot sentence him on this basis as the law does not allow for it,” he said.

He noted that the accused had shown contrition a fortnight before he pleaded guilty but not while dealing with Gardaí.

“However the first step towards rehabilitation is acknowledging guilt. This defendant entered guilty pleas, made admissions of guilt, showed an acceptance of his wrongdoing and one can only infer that there is contrition here,” Justice McCarthy said.

Mr Justice McCarthy imposed various consecutive sentences totalling 18 years. He said he had looked at sentencing in the round, to ensure it was not disproportionate as there are multiple victims in this case.

“It is one of those cases where the sentences have to be consecutive so that there is punishment for the wrong done to each victim,” he said.

He directed that the defendant undergo supervision by the probation services for a period of five years upon release and ordered that his name be entered onto the sex offenders register.

He acknowledged that Sharkey had a good record of employment and was in employment at the time of offending but had since lost his job in Dundalk.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:20 AM

€5m excavation of Tuam site on cards…

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has published a report detailing five potential options for dealing with the future of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway.

The report, carried out by a group of technical experts, proposes how to manage the site and respond to the discovery of infant remains.

The options include a full forensic and archaeological excavation of the full and surrounding site at a cost of between €3m and €5m.

This process would take between 12 and 24 months and involve the exhumation of remains and the excavation of a 0.4 hectare site.

According to the document, this option is the most "intrusive" and would cause the most "disruption".

Two other options include scaled-down excavation works, which would be carried out in a more immediate fashion and at a smaller cost.

The paper also proposes the recovery of human remains already identified and, as a separate option, the returning of the site to being managed as a memorial with no further excavation. This option is proposed to cost between €100,000 and €500,000.

Ms Zappone is understood to have an open mind in relation to all the options contained in the paper.

The expert group was set up following the publication of research by historian Catherine Corless, which claimed that the remains of 800 babies were buried at the site.

The paper will now be sent out for public consultation before a final option is agreed by Cabinet.

Aside from the five options, the paper states that identification of the remains will be "extremely difficult".

This is because of issues pertaining to DNA samples.

The consultation will be facilitated by Galway County Council.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:17 AM

Teacher 'hoarded child abuse images'…

A maths teacher at one of Scotland's top private schools has appeared in court charged with hoarding child abuse images.

Craig Wood, who has been suspended from Hutchesons' Grammar School in Glasgow, is alleged to have been downloading the material for almost nine years.

And its claimed he convinced children to expose themselves to him over the same length of time.

Mr Wood, 52, who denies the charges, was arrested in February.

Prosecutors told Paisley Sheriff Court he made "indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children" by downloading them at his home in Glenburn, Paisley between 8 June, 2008 and 23 February this year.

He also denies a second charge of being in possession of a quantity of illegal images between the same dates.

And he denies a third charge of forcing children to expose themselves to him during online chats.

Sheriff David Pender adjourned the case until the New Year for a further pre-trial hearing to take place and continued the teacher's bail.

Mr Wood is currently suspended from his job at the prestigious school in Pollokshields, Glasgow, which has annual fees of more than £11,000.

He previously taught at Paisley Grammar.

At the time of his arrest a Hutchesons' Grammar spokesman said: "We have been assured by police that our pupils and staff have not been and are not at risk.

"All the appropriate checks were carried out thoroughly and satisfactorily prior to the member of staff starting work at the school.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:13 AM

OAP in court charged with raping own grandchild…

An elderly man has appeared in court accused of multiple sexual charges allegedly committed against his young granddaughter.

The accused, who is in his 70s and from Co Tyrone, was charged after a report was made to police earlier this month. He cannot be named to protect the child's identity.

The defendant faces two counts each of rape and inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency for sexual gratification. There is also a charge of attempted rape.

The offences are alleged to have occurred on various dates since May 31, 2014, ending on December 1 this year.

At Dungannon Magistrates Court yesterday the defendant spoke only to confirm his identity and that he understood the charges.

A detective constable told the court she believed she could connect the accused to the offences before the court.

A lawyer appearing for the prosecution said a remand in custody was sought as there were concerns the accused could interfere with witnesses.

However, a defence barrister said bail was not being applied for at this stage as there is as yet no address suitable to police.

He added while this may be objected to at a later date, he placed on record the defendant had been arrested and released after questioning last week, but then rearrested after police conducted a further interview with the child.

District Judge Amanda Brady remanded the defendant in custody to appear by video-link at Strabane Magistrates Court on a date to be fixed.

ANON Dec 17th, 2017 @ 11:11 AM

Music teacher accused of sexually abusing five girls…

A music teacher has appeared in court charged with the sexual abuse of five girls, all of them under the age of 13.

Brian Bergin, from Brookhill in the Culmore Road area of Londonderry, appeared at a preliminary enquiry hearing at Derry Magistrates Court yesterday.

He faces a total of 10 charges involving five complainants.

The defendant is charged with indecently touching them in a sexual manner while in a position of trust.

The offences are alleged to have been committed on various dates between August 2011 and May 2014.

When asked by a court clerk if he had anything to say in answer to the 10 charges, the defendant replied "not at this stage".

A submission by a solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service that, based on the papers, the defendant had a prima facie case to answer, was accepted by the defendant's solicitor.

The defence solicitor said that his client, a father-of-three, was now at risk of losing his employment given the nature of the allegations against him.

"There is also a real likelihood of the defendant losing his liberty and livelihood if convicted," he said.

There was no objection to bail and the defendant was released on his own bail of £500 to appear before the Crown Court for his arraignment on January 16.

As part of his bail conditions he was ordered by District Judge Barney McElholm not to have any direct or indirect contact with any of the complainants or witnesses.

The accused was also ordered to continue to reside at his current home address.

ANON Dec 13th, 2017 @ 11:20 AM

The mother of a child abused by a paedophile hospital doctor says her son has been "destroyed" by what happened….

Myles Bradbury was jailed for 22 years in December 2014 after admitting abusing 18 victims at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

The hospital has agreed a number of payouts with Bradbury's victims.

Speaking publicly for the first time, the mother of one victim said her son had had to be taken out of education and feared he could kill himself.

She says her son, now a teenager but was aged between 10 and 12 when he was abused, had to be taken out of education completely a few years ago and now spends most of his time in complete seclusion.

"Myles Bradbury destroyed our beautiful boy's life," his mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said.

"So much so that I can't see any way that he'll ever recover.

"He is so bad that we live in fear of him committing suicide.

"We have to watch him 24 hours a day.

The first thing on we do every day when we wake we check to see that he is still alive. If he is a bit late getting up we are worried that he will have done something terrible.

"It is completely heartbreaking. He hides away pretty much all day and refuses to leave the house.

"Whilst he has us around I hope he will be OK, but I feel that if we were not around, he'd do something awful."

Bradbury, of Herringswell in Suffolk, admitted 25 offences, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images.

The blood cancer specialist used a spy pen to take pictures of his victims.

That device was found to hold 170,425 images of "boys partially clothed none indecent", Cambridge Crown Court heard at the time of his sentencing.

The images of his victims, some of whom had haemophilia, leukaemia and other serious illnesses, were gathered at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Renu Daly, of Hudgell's solicitors, said although some claims have been settled with the hospital, eight cases relating to child victims were ongoing, including some in which the victims suffered "catastrophic psychological injuries".

ANON Dec 12th, 2017 @ 03:19 PM

1/2…Children buried at Tuam site may never be identified…12/12/2017

DNA testing on mother and baby home remains unlikely to succeed, says expert group

An expert group set up by the Government to examine the site of a former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, has cast serious doubt on whether the children buried there will ever be identified.

The group says DNA testing on the remains at the site, as of now, is “highly unlikely” to identify the remains of the children, and the Government must seek to manage expectations of what can be achieved.

Its findings will be considered by Cabinet today.

The relatives of former residents at the home have strongly urged Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to identify the remains.

However, the expert technical group established to examine options available to the Government to deal with the site in Tuam also said it may be impossible to identify remains from DNA testing without “samples from living relatives”.

“Even then, identification will be extremely difficult, and will depend on the quality of the remains recovered.”

It also says DNA testing will be difficult because the best source of such data is teeth, which are not sufficiently formed in babies under two years old.

It cautions that “DNA identification is highly complex” and that “individual identification of remains here is highly unlikely without further significant investigation”.

DNA testing can also destroy samples of human remains, which may be acceptable when dealing with full skeletons but not individual fragments that are mixed together, as is the case in Tuam.

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes earlier this year announced “significant” quantities of human remains had been found buried under the site of a former institution for unmarried mothers run by the Sisters of the Bon Secours.

The remains belonged to children aged from about 35 foetal weeks to three years.

ANON Dec 12th, 2017 @ 03:13 PM

2/2…Death certificates

The commission was set up in February 2015 after a Galway-based historian, Catherine Corless, published research that revealed death certificates for 796 children at the Tuam mother and baby home with no indication of their burial places.

The expert group also outlines a number of options to deal with the Tuam site, such as turning it into a memorial and ceasing investigative work.

Other options include exhuming human remains and burying them elsewhere; forensic examination and recovery of the known human remains; excavation and recovery, while examining some other areas in Tuam.

Another option is an exhaustive examination of all potential areas, such as the adjoining car park, memorial garden and playground. This would exclude, however, a nearby housing estate and private gardens.

The group opts for a method known as “humanitarian forensic action”, which would involve further research of available archives and collection of witness testimony, as well as testing and evaluation of specific areas in Tuam and a full forensic examination of all known human remains.

Ms Zappone is open to this course of action but is in favour of first consulting the local community in Tuam and other interested parties before proceeding along a definite course of action.

The expert group noted Tuam is unique when it comes to potential technical examination because of a number of factors.

These include the significant number of children’s remains present; the problem of accessing the remains because of their burial in chambers below ground; and the fact that skeletal remains are mixed together.

Taken together, these cannot be understated, the report says, adding that a the scope for “outcomes” may be more limited than expected.

ANON Dec 12th, 2017 @ 03:11 PM

Mixed response as mandatory reporting of child-abuse concerns begins…

Mandatory reporting of child-abuse concerns began yesterday, with children’s rights groups saying it would work, while others, including social workers, expressed misgivings.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said his department had published new child-protection procedures for schools which take into account the new statutory mandated reporting and child-safeguarding requirements, with schools now having a statutory obligation to produce a ‘child safeguarding statement’ under the changes.

The new procedures set out the reporting requirements for registered teachers in respect of their role as mandated persons.

Mr Bruton said: “My department is committed to ensuring that there is full compliance with the new procedures.”

Barnardos and the ISPCC were among the organisations to back the new laws, which mean that all suspicions must be reported to the gardaí and social services.

Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said a lot of the mechanisms to support mandatory reporting were already in place, including Tusla, which he said was ready for the expected spike in cases.

Mr Finley told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that anyone now who does not report a concern known to them would be breaking the law.

“There is a culture of quietness, there is a culture of not reporting. We have to break that,” he said.

The CEO of Tusla, Fred McBride, has already said the Child and Family Agency will have sufficient resources to deal with the impact of mandatory reporting, which Tusla has suggested is more likely to be a modest rise in the number of cases being reported.

However, social workers have warned that while Tusla may have resources in place, other state agencies, such as the Health Service Executive (HSE), may not.

The Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) said it will encourage all social workers to work effectively together to ensure the protection and welfare of children, but IASW chairman Frank Browne said: “There appears to be no intention on the part of the HSE to recruit appropriately trained staff to the role of designated liaison officer.”

Tusla said its monthly and quarterly activity reports will chart any rise in referrals received

ANON Dec 9th, 2017 @ 04:20 PM

A man who sexually abused vulnerable children at a care home in Fife has been stripped of his MBE…

Trevor Francis was given an MBE by Prince Charles in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to his Fife community.

But he was jailed two years later after being found guilty of sexual abuse at St Margaret's children's home.

Francis took over at the home in 1973 after paedophile David Murphy was forced out over abuse allegations.

His predecessor was eventually convicted in 2002 of a catalogue of sex assaults over the 30 years he was in charge at St Margaret's in Elie, Fife.

Francis was part of a new management team at the home that was meant to end the threat of abuse.

He was described as a "Jekyll and Hyde character" who subjected children at the home to sexual assaults and corporal punishment.

Three girls aged 14 to 16 at the time told a jury in 2014 that Francis would enter the girls' dormitory at the home at night and sexually abuse them.

A male resident at the home told how he had once run away and got as far as Kirkcaldy where he was picked up by police and taken back.

Francis took him into a laundry room and attacked him as punishment. Other victims told how Francis hit them in the face and beat them with a slipper.

The 71-year-old from Aberdour, Fife, denied a total of nine charges on indictment but was found guilty of two offences of using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards young girls and three assaults.

One further lewd and libidinous charge and three assaults were found not proven.
Francis was given the MBE in 2012 for his services to the community in Aberdour, Fife, where he was station master for more than 20 years.

A notice published in the London Gazette, the official public record of awards and other notices, stated: "The Queen has directed that the appointment of Trevor George Francis to be a Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 15 June 2012, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order."