January Comments 2017

ANON Jan 30th, 2017 @ 04:01 PM

Lack of units to treat abused children is adding to family trauma…

The lack of dedicated sexual assault treatment units for children is adding “immensely” to the trauma of families trying to deal with child sex abuse.

Children’s charity Cari said it was “unacceptable” that there was only one such facility in the entire country, located in Galway, forcing the bulk of families to struggle in the dark for help.

Cari chief executive Mary Flaherty said the needs were “enormous” and said there should be at least the same level of service as adults have, for whom there are six Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATU) nationwide.

Dr Maeve Eogan of the Dublin SATU in the Rotunda Hospital said a parent of a child, or in many cases a garda acting on their behalf, would have to make “up to nine phone calls” to track down a medical professional who might fit the child into the end of their clinic. T

The country’s six SATUs are only allowed to treat children over 14, while the Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Services (CASATS) in Galway can treat any child under 16.

The service treated 73 children in 2015, compared to 64 in 2014. Three of the children were aged one, six were aged two, seven were aged three and 11 were aged four (the highest number for any age). In all, almost 40% were aged four or under.

A Children’s Hospital Group statement confirmed the facility would open with the hospital in 2021.

It said an advanced nurse practitioner had been appointed and will work with the HSE to develop the service.

Contacts: Rape Crisis Centre 24-hour helpline: 1800 77 88 88.... Cari 1890 92 45 67.

ANON Jan 28th, 2017 @ 09:19 PM

1/2...Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Northern Ireland…

Dear Editor,

The newly released final report from the 'Historical Abuse Inquiry' (HIA) in Northern Ireland clearly proves that their state is about 18 years ahead of the Republic of Ireland when it comes to dealing with historical child abuse and discrimination on religious lines.

Contrast their Inquiry with the treatment of the Protestant Bethany Home survivors in Dublin and the wilful and nasty way successive Irish Government Minister have done everything in their power to bury even the mere possibly of a proper inquiry in the Republic.

The HIA has successfully travelled a long way on this very hard and difficult and well done to them. The State Ministers and Civil Servants in the North have done it in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and lessons must be learned here by the Irish Government.

It is great news for all people who want truth and justice to be done and be seen to be done instead of just talking and stalling.

Of course the Church of Ireland's Archbishops and their Reverends were on the committee that organised my baptism and oversaw my grossly illegal adoption to a family in County Wicklow who could not look after themselves, never mind looking after a small child like me.

The Irish Church Mission (ICM) and the Church of Ireland and the Archbishop of Dublin Reverent Hammond were all part of the notorious Bethany Home and ran it as their own and under their rules as supplied by God apparently.

All of the Protestant hierarchy of the Republic of Ireland actively participated in the wanton neglect and abuse of illegitimate Protestant babies and children.

They were, and remain, collectively responsible.

ANON Jan 28th, 2017 @ 09:14 PM

2/2...But should the Good Friday Agreement not also cover the Protestant minority of the Republic of Ireland as well?

Are we not people too?

The survivors from the Bethany Mother and Baby home started campaigning for truth, justice and a full public Inquiry many many years before any of these other Protestant homes and there is no doubt that Bethany was the worst Protestant home in Ireland or the UK ever.

You only need to go to Mount Jerome cemetery in Dublin and witness the 227 names on the Bethany Home Memorial for the babies and children who lost their innocent lives in that hellhole between 1922 and 1949 if you need proof carved in stone.

It is now long past time for the Taoiseach and his Ministers and Civil Servants to go before the Dail and immediately add the Bethany Home to the Redress Act 4.1 appendix as it is already on the Statute Book and ready to go.

The Dail can do this in a heartbeat and instantly put a stop to this continuing discrimination and criminal behaviour against a very small group of elderly and vulnerable Protestant survivors who have been let down very badly by our State and Church for generations.

The Border did not matter to the Catholic or Protestant churches when they were trafficking the babies and children from the North of Ireland to the south of Ireland, or when the Churches were transporting our most innocent and helpless citizens to the UK and other far flung destinations around the world.

The Bethany Home Survivors are now excluded by a border that meant nothing back in the 'good old days' but is now being conveniently used to exclude us from the Historical Abuse Inquiry in the North in modern times. Once again in all of the 32 counties of Ireland in 2017, it seems no southern Protestants need apply. Anywhere...

I remain,

Derek Linster,
Founder and Chairperson of the Bethany Home Survivors group '98

ANON Jan 28th, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

1/2...OAP is jailed for abuse of his partner's grandkids…

The 72-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the two sisters and a brother he abused, was handed a six-year sentence

A Belfast man who sexually abused three siblings over an eight-year period has been jailed.

The 72-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the two sisters and a brother he abused, was handed a six-year sentence.

The pensioner was told by Judge Geoffrey Miller QC that he will serve half his sentence in prison followed by a three-year period on probation when he is released.

Yesterday, Belfast Crown Court heard that the defendant who was in a relationship with their grandmother used to bring one of his young victims to work with him on a Saturday morning, where he would abuse her on a regular basis while playing.

He initially denied a host of sexual offences, but appeared in court after admitting six counts of indecent assault against the siblings over a period spanning from 1998 to 2005.

Each of the children were under the age of 10 when they were targeted by their grandmother's partner.

Judge Miller said his admission vindicated his victims and spared them the trauma of giving evidence in court.

Crown prosecutor Laura Ivers revealed all the abuse occurred in Downpatrick mainly in the victims' grandmother's home.

ANON Jan 28th, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

2/2...The defendant began abusing the oldest sibling, who the court heard "spent a lot of time with her grandmother".

The girl was sexually assaulted by the defendant both in her grandmother's house and in the man's place of work from the ages of six to 10.

Her younger sister was abused from the ages of six to eight. Many of his cases of abuse occurred when he was babysitting for his partner.

The prosecutor said these incidents occurred "every time he had the opportunity".

Also abused was their brother, who regarded the defendant as a father figure. He was abused once by his granny's partner when he was aged around six or seven, who told him what occurred was a "wee secret" between them.

The alarm was initially raised in 2005 when the male victim alerted his mother to the defendant's behaviour towards his sisters.

No official complaint was made at that time, however each of the siblings subsequently revealed what happened to them.

When the defendant was arrested, he initially denied claims made by the two sisters and brother. However, he later pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault.
Defence barrister Ken McMahon QC told the court his client came before the court with an otherwise clear criminal record

ANON Jan 28th, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

Magdalene Redress scheme to be probed…

The ombudsman has launched an investigation into possible “evidence of maladministration” of the Magdalene redress scheme by the Department of Justice and Equality.

The investigation was revealed in the High Court on Thursday where two women are challenging the department’s decision not to include them in the redress scheme.

The ombudsman, Peter Tyndall, notified the department of its intention to launch an investigation on December 20.

The Irish Examiner understands the investigation will consider whether the application process operated in an open and fair manner and whether the department relied on information that was irrelevant and/or incomplete, when deciding on a person’s eligibility under the scheme.

The probe will also look at how the department sourced, gathered, and evaluated information on the Magdalene laundries and other institutions covered under the redress scheme.

In a statement, the ombudsman said it had received 30 complaints from applicants to the redress scheme and that, following its intervention, the department reversed its decision to refuse redress in four of the cases.

“The investigation will cover the issues raised in nine of the complaints the ombudsman has received from women who were excluded from the scheme together with an investigation into the administration of the scheme generally,” read the statement.

The ombudsman said it is not possible to say how long the investigation will take but that it envisages it being concluded in a matter of months.

“The ombudsman can make findings and recommendations as part of his investigation. Recommendations are not binding on public bodies.

“However, in almost every case the ombudsman’s recommendation is implemented.

The ombudsman will make public the outcome of the investigation at its conclusion,” read the statement.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is now facing calls to explain why she had not publicly revealed details of the investigation.

“It’s clear that the department is not behaving in a transparent manner in relation to this investigation,” said Fianna Fáil equality spokeswoman Fiona O’Loughlin.

The Justice For Magdalenes Research body, long-time critics of how the scheme had been administered, said the Department of Justice needs to write to all women who had been refused admission to the redress scheme to inform them of the investigation.

ANON Jan 27th, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

1/3...Magdalene Laundry compensation case adjourned…

Ombudsman says Minister for Justice cannot claim it must follow its recommendations

There has been an apparent clash between the Minister for Justice and the Ombudsman, concerning the scope of a compensation scheme for women who worked in Magdalene Laundries, at the High Court.

To address that, David Hardiman SC, for the Minister on Thursday got an adjournment of proceedings by two women suing over their exclusion from the ex gratia compensation scheme administered by the Department of Justice’s restorative justice unit.

Both women claim, as children attending industrial schools in the 1970s and 1980s, they were forced to work for periods in laundries and were unreasonably excluded from the scheme on a “technicality”.

They claim the scheme administrators wrongly view the schools and laundries as separate institutions when, the women allege, the laundries were linked to the schools.

In opposing their cases, the Minister pleads the scheme was not established to compensate for alleged forced labour or loss of earnings in the laundries but as part of a scheme of healing and reconciliation.

ANON Jan 27th, 2017 @ 11:51 AM

2/3..."Expressing disquiet"...

Both cases opened on Wednesday before Mr Justice Michael White and were due to resume on Thursday but Mr Hardiman sought an adjournment arising from a “development” which had to be addressed in affidavits by departmental officials currently overseas.

Michael Lynn SC, for the women, said this was a public law case and he would tell the court what had happened.

The court heard this arose after the court was told on Wednesday the Minister followed recommendations from the Ombudsman about inclusion in the scheme.

Mr Lynn said his solicitor got an email on Wednesday night stating the Ombudsman’s office sent a letter expressing disquiet at the fact the Minister considers herself bound by the Ombudsman’s decisions .

It referred to cases where the Minister had not followed the Ombudsman’s recommendation for someone’s inclusion in the scheme.

An earlier letter from the Ombudsman’s office, in July 2016, stated the office was corresponding with the Minister about the scheme, counsel said.

Such was the disquiet about how the scheme is being operated the Ombudsman had launched an investigation into “maladministration”, he said.

His side understood the exclusion from the scheme of another woman who went to an industrial school which also featured in this case, An Grianan, High Park, Drumcondra, Dublin, and worked in a laundry attached to that was an aspect of the maladministration investigation, counsel added.

ANON Jan 27th, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

3/3..".Further hurt"...

If the Ombudsman is right about his recommendations that an applicant be included in the scheme have not been followed by the Minister, then the court and his side have been misled, Mr Lynn said.

His side only became aware of this because the Ombudsman’s office sent one of its legal team to this case on Wednesday.

This all caused further hurt to the two women, he added.

Mr Hardiman said he wished to explain being “cryptic” earlier when seeking the adjournment. There were “tensions” with the Ombudsman’s position and his side did not want those flagged or to become entrenched until they could be certain what the position was, he said.

Clarifications are required in relation to the Ombudsman’s position that will not meet the description given by the other side, he said.

It was “inappropriate” to have referred to the word “maladministration” because that was in an email sent from one solicitor to another, he added.

In reply to the judge, counsel said the department had undertaken to accept the Ombudsman’s rulings within the scheme but it did not accept the Ombudsman’s suggestion the scheme be expanded.

“That is what this developing issue is about.” Applicants must meet the criteria for the scheme, he added.

The judge, noting one woman had travelled from her home in the US for the case, said he would adjourn to Wednesday but was anxious the cases resume as soon as possible

ANON Jan 26th, 2017 @ 11:42 AM

1/2...Women claim ‘unreasonable’ exclusion from Magdalene scheme…

Claim based on forced work in laundries while attending nearby industrial schools

Two women who claim they were forced, while attending industrial schools, to work in Magdalene laundries have alleged unreasonable exclusion from a State compensation scheme.

Due to their exclusion on a “technicality” from the scheme concerning the laundries, the women view the Taoiseach’s apology over the treatment of those who worked in them as “hollow”, counsel Michael Lynn SC said.

They are suing the Minister for Justice in proceedings that opened in the High Court on Wednesday before Mr Justice Michael White.

The women claim that while attending industrial schools run by religious orders in the 1970s and 1980s, they were forced to work in Magdalene laundries which, they allege, were linked to those schools.

One of the women was aged just two when she was taken from her family for reasons unknown to her and placed in a school. She was then sent to work in a laundry for periods, the court heard.

The second woman claims that, also while placed in a school, she worked in two different laundries at various times between the age of eight and 18.

The claim relates to institutions including An Grianán training centre and St Mary’s Refuge Laundry, both formerly located at High Park, Drumcondra, Dublin. It also relates to St Dominic’s school and another laundry, both formerly located at Cork Road, Waterford.

The Department of Justice’s Restorative Justice Unit found that An Grianán and St Dominic’s were separate institutions from the laundries.

ANON Jan 26th, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

2/2...Both women claim they were unreasonably refused compensation on foot of such findings. They allege the schools and laundries were “one and the same” and contend that the HSE had gathered evidence to that effect.

Both maintain they are in the same position as other women who have lived with the “stigma” of working in Magdalene laundries.

In an affidavit, one of the women said, as a child, she was forced to work in the laundries without pay, abused and neglected and “treated like a slave”.

She wanted “recognition as a Magdalene woman and a recognition by official Ireland that what happened to me was wrong”.

The Minister and her officials had “deliberately” offered an interpretation of the scheme “at variance” with the Taoiseach’s apology, she claimed.

The second woman said the Residential Institutions Redress Board had wrongly rated 8 out of a possible 25 the abuse she suffered.

In opposing the action, the Minister rejects the claims the women were denied compensation on a “technicality” and pleads they were excluded because they did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the ex gratia compensation scheme concerning Magdalene laundries.

It also says the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme was set up to cover those who suffered abuse in such institutions, and the Magdalene Laundry Scheme is entirely different.

Among various pleas, the Minister says the fact one or both women may have carried out some work at certain laundries after school or on Saturdays, at times both were resident in industrial schools, does not render them eligible for compensation for that work.

The scheme was not established to compensate for alleged forced labour or loss of earnings in the laundries, but rather as part of a scheme of healing and reconciliation and to express the sincere nature of the State’s “reconciliatory intent”, the court heard.

ANON Jan 24th, 2017 @ 12:43 PM

1/2...‘I had to break my silence of 20 years to protect others’…

A father who sexually abused his 10-year-old daughter has apologised for not admitting to his crimes and for putting her through the painful experience of a trial last month.

The man, aged 53, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went on trial last December charged with sexually abusing and orally raping his daughter in their Offaly home when she was aged between 10 and 12.

He had pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexually assaulting his daughter and three counts of orally raping her on three occasions between February 1994 and September 1996.

He was found guilty by a jury on all six counts.

The sexual abuse took place when the girl’s mother was travelling for work, Tara Burns, prosecuting, told the Central Criminal Court yesterday.

During each incident, the man woke his daughter in the middle of the night, took her into his bed, and told her to take her clothes off before abusing her.

On one occasion, the man told his daughter: “Don’t ever let any man do this to you,” the court heard.

After each incident, he left a £50 note on her bedside locker, which she later returned.

The girl’s parents separated when she was 13 years old but she never told her mother about the abuse.

She only came forward in 2014, when she learned her father had a new partner with young daughters and she feared the same thing would happen to them.

ANON Jan 24th, 2017 @ 12:40 PM

2/2...The court heard the man now accepts responsibility for his actions. A concession, Mr Justice Hunt said, “would have been so much better a month and a half ago”.

Mr Justice Hunt remanded the man in custody for sentencing on March 27.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman, now aged 32, said her father took advantage of her and how close she was to her mother “to ensure he would get away with these heinous crimes”.

“I had to break my silence of 20 years in order to protect others,” she said. She said even then, her father “didn’t do me the courtesy of pleading guilty”.

“He forced me to stand up in a courtroom in front of my family and strangers and tell them in the most graphic way what he did to me,” said the woman.

She said the abuse had a profound effect on her and she found it hard to trust people.

She said she refused to be labelled a victim, and worked every day to ensure the abuse did not impact her life or her relationship with her husband.

“I’m a fighter, not a survivor, and I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me,” she said.

Michael Delaney, defending, said that his client accepted the jury’s guilty verdict and was now remorseful for what he did to his daughter.

He has no previous convictions.

In a letter read out in court and addressed directly to his daughter, the man said: “I apologise from the bottom of my heart.

“I’m sorry for putting you through this court case.”

ANON Jan 23rd, 2017 @ 01:06 PM

1/2...Bishop hopes child abuse inquiry recommendations will help others…

Northern Ireland inquiry proposals should be implemented with ‘honesty and integrity’

The recommendations arising from Northern Ireland’s child abuse inquiry should be implemented with goodwill, the Catholic bishop of Down and Connor has said.

Bishop Noel Treanor said he hoped the report would help others who have been abused to find the strength and courage to come forward and report it to the authorities.

The independent inquiry recommended compensation payments of up to £100,000, funded by the state and voluntary institutions responsible for the residential homes where the harm occurred, with payments beginning later this year.

Those who suffered in state, church and charity-run homes should also be offered an official apology from government and the organisations involved, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry led by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart found.

“Let us pray that in response to the HIA inquiry and report, our local church in this diocese and all involved in the statutory and voluntary sectors will have the grace and strength to respond with honesty, integrity and goodwill to the report’s recommendations and their implementation so that the light of justice, truth and peace may shine upon us and facilitate in our society the cultivation of a civilisation of love, courtesy and care for all,” Bishop Treanor said.

ANON Jan 23rd, 2017 @ 01:04 PM

2/2...The report found evidence of systemic failings in most of the 22 institutions and homes it investigated, and said sex crimes against children were ignored to protect the good name of the Catholic Church. One child who complained was effectively silenced.

However, fresh Assembly elections have been called following the resignation of deputy first minister Martin McGuinness and it is uncertain when the inquiry’s findings will be implemented.

Talks are expected to be held after the March 2nd election to try to establish a new powersharing administration at Stormont.

Safeguarding issues...

Bishop Treanor, whose diocese covers the greater Belfast area, told the congregation at St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast that the report raised many important safeguarding issues and the diocese should carefully examine its findings and co-operate in implementing the recommendations.

He apologised to the survivors and paid tribute to those who came forward to the inquiry.

“We can barely imagine the pain and suffering involved in their efforts to revisit and describe in words a dark, disappointing, lonely and infernal time in their lives in order to give their evidence.”

The Assembly is due to discuss the report this coming week.

ANON Jan 23rd, 2017 @ 01:02 PM

Mother jailed for plotting to let man rape daughter…

A mother who was plotting to let a paedophile from Rhondda Cynon Taff rape her seven-year-old daughter has been jailed for nine years.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, planned the sex attack with Stuart Bailey, 54, in text messages.

Bailey, of Ynysybwl, was jailed for 13 years after the pair were found guilty of conspiracy to rape.

The offences came to light when the woman's partner found the texts.
The court heard the pair exchanged dozens of messages and the woman also sent Bailey a naked picture of the girl and bought sleeping pills to drug her.

At an earlier hearing, the woman admitted distributing five indecent images of a child and Bailey admitted possessing those images.

The mother, described as "vulnerable and gullible" by recorder Eleri Rees QC, asked Bailey what she would get out of the plan to rape her daughter and he mentioned sums of £200 to £300.

Judge Rees said Bailey was "prolific" in contacting a number of women on a dating website.

An investigation discovered that he was having similar discussions with other women.

The court heard the pair planned to rape the girl during the Whitsun school holiday and talked about drugging her.

Judge Rees said that despite speaking to her doctor, who advised against giving a child a sleeping drug, the mother went ahead and bought some online.

"By your own admission you tried it out a week before the rape was due to take place," she added.

Alex Greenwood, defending the mother, said she had been "bullied, cajoled and blackmailed" by Bailey.

Lucy Crowther, defending Bailey, said her client was "totally ashamed of his behaviour and his actions".

Both defendants were made the subject of sexual harm prevention orders and given one year of additional licence to serve.

ANON Jan 23rd, 2017 @ 12:59 PM

1/2...Cabinet to approve ‘Grace’ sex abuse inquiry…

The Cabinet will finally approve terms of reference this week for a State inquiry into the ‘Grace’ foster home sex-abuse scandal.

Delayed for a year, the inquiry can now proceed, with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan saying the HSE can publish two internal reports into the scandal, clearing the way for the inquiry.

At a meeting of the senior management in the Department of Health in the past few days, Health Minister Simon Harris demanded delivery of the terms of reference from his officials, following criticism of the delays.

Mr Harris was called on to intervene after criticisms from within government about Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath’s handling of the matter.

Mr McGrath, who was also at the meeting, became frustrated at the delays and insisted terms of reference must go to the Cabinet “by the end of January”.

Both Mr Harris and Mr McGrath have said that, without the two HSE reports being published, any inquiry would face substantial additional burdens.

The HSE has begun making the reports ready for publication, with redactions of sensitive material.

It will draw up three versions of the reports: An accessible version for people with disabilities at the home; another for their families; and a third for general publication.

ANON Jan 23rd, 2017 @ 12:57 PM

2/2...The two internal reports will be available in February.

Once approved by Cabinet, the terms of reference will be passed through both the Dáil and Seanad, in February, to allow the inquiry to be up and running by March 1.

There has been frustration within the Government at the lack of progress in delivering the inquiry into what is one of the most shocking abuse scandals in recent times.

The HSE director general, Tony O’Brien, has met with Ms O’Sullivan about the publication of the two reports.

HSE bosses are also due to meet the local superintendent in Waterford, whose request not to publish had been the basis of the HSE’s refusal to do so.

The Grace scandal concerns the rape, physical abuse, and neglect of up to 47 children and young adults, at a foster home in Waterford over a 20-year period. In Grace’s case, she languished in the home for 14 years before she was removed.

The HSE had long-refused to publish the two reports, saying that gardaí had warned that doing so would jeopardise ongoing investigations.

Ms O’Sullivan had been asked by Waterford TD,John Deasy to clarify her position over the reports’ publication. Mr Deasy had grown impatient at the delays.

Mr Deasy, in his letters to the Garda Commissioner, said he feared the inquiry would be allowed to “linger endlessly in limbo”.

ANON Jan 22nd, 2017 @ 12:25 PM

1/3...Head of Catholic church in Ireland apologises to child abuse victims…

A major report into Historical Institutional Child Abuse in Northern Ireland has been published. Abuse victims group says report is vindication. Margaret McGuckin, whose brother was one of the victims of sexual abuse, said today is what victims have "waited a lifetime for

The head of the Catholic church in Ireland said he apologised unreservedly to all those who fell victim to abuse in church-run homes.

Archbishop Eamon Martin said the church had to now demonstrate it was serious about making reparation for the sins of the past.

His apology was replicated by a number of religious orders that ran homes where abuse occurred.

Archbishop Martin said: "I apologise unreservedly to all those who suffered from their experience in church-run institutions, and to their loved ones.

They have given details for all to see of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Their story is one of anxiety, isolation and pain."

He added: "It is totally understandable that those abused may find it hard to forgive or find reconciliation with the church.

But we in the church must do everything we can to submit to the demands of justice and demonstrate that we are serious about making reparation for the sins and crimes of the past."

ANON Jan 22nd, 2017 @ 12:24 PM

2/3...Sister Cora McHale from the Sisters of Nazareth order, Ireland, said: "This report is a very comprehensive work and it will now consider all the matters raised and the recommendations made.

"We again apologise to anyone who has suffered abuse, whether psychological, physical, sexual or neglect, on any occasion when the sisters' standard of care fell below what was expected of them.

It was always the desire of the order to provide a safe place for children and when we failed on any occasion, we want to express our deepest regret."

She added: "We will now fully reflect on the contents of the report and make a considered response to the new Executive on the implementation of the recommendations."

A statement from the De La Salle Brothers said: "First and foremost, we the Brothers wish to reiterate publicly what we said to the Inquiry on 15th January 2014: We accept and deeply regret that boys in our care were abused.

Sir Anthony Hart led the independent Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry

"We offer our sincere and unreserved apology to all those whom we failed to protect.

"The De La Salle Order has previously acknowledged that some of its members and lay staff abused innocent victims whilst at Rubane Boys' Home or St Patrick's Training School.

"That some Brothers abused boys in their care was in total contradiction of their vocations as De la Salle Brothers and of their mission as established by our founder, namely to look after the welfare and educational needs of deprived, vulnerable and abandoned children."

It added: "We wish also to thank the panel members for their diligence in carrying out an enormous task."

ANON Jan 22nd, 2017 @ 12:22 PM

3/3...The Irish Norbertines said: "The Irish Norbertines recognise the tragic harm and hurt caused to innocent children by Brendan Smyth, a deceased member of our community, as outlined in the report, published today.

"We again unreservedly apologise most sincerely for the hurt and harm caused to so many young people, while also accepting that our management of the man concerned and the accusations presented to us was grossly inadequate."

The Sisters of St Louis said: "We are saddened that any child suffered while under our care at the former St Joseph's Training School, Middletown, and we offer a heartfelt apology.

"We appreciate how difficult it must have been for the eight former residents to come forward to tell their stories and hope that the conclusions of the inquiry will bring healing and hope to their lives.

"The Sisters of St Louis will consider the full report, its findings and deliberations and will work with The Executive Office of the Northern Ireland Assembly in addressing the recommendations in the report."

The Diocese of Down and Connor said: "The Diocese of Down and Connor apologises wholeheartedly, unconditionally and unreservedly to all those who have suffered abuse and carried the legacy of such appalling experiences from childhood as a result of any failing on the part of a representative of this diocese."

The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd said: "We apologise unreservedly to those former residents whose care fell short of what they needed and deserved."

ANON Jan 21st, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry: We have finally been vindicated, says public face of the survivors…

Campaigners and victims of historic child abuse in Northern Ireland have welcomed the 'long-overdue' findings of systemic failure outlined in the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry report.

Margaret McGuckin, who has been the public face of the campaign for survivors of historical institutional child sex abuse, said it has taken a lifetime for victims to get justice.

"We have been vindicated by this inquiry and I am delighted - this is our day," she said.

"It has taken a lot of victims their whole lives to get justice, but that is what we got today.

"It will never erase the terrible memories or diminish the sadness that has become an integral part of many of us because nothing can undo the damage.

There are still too many secrets being carried.

"When we spoke out about the abuse no one would believe us at the time because we were children and it was continually covered up but at least now the world finally knows the truth.

"Sir Anthony Hart repeatedly spoke of systemic failings and I am happy with that; for once we haven't been let down.

“All that remains is for the Executive to take the recommendations forward and we will be at Stormont on Monday to make sure they commit to this process."

Jon McCourt, from the North West Survivors group in Londonderry, said Sir Anthony Hart had listened and that political representatives now had to listen.

"We want the rest of the delivery of what the HIA report entails," he said.

"Don't let us down now."

Meanwhile, high-profile former army officer Colin Wallace, who declined to assist the inquiry, has criticised its findings.

Colin Wallace, who served in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1974, had been a leading voice in claims about an alleged cover-up by intelligence services of sex abuse at the former Kincora Boys' Home - which the HIA rejected.

He said: "I feel the victims have been let down yet again, as they were by previous inquiries."

ANON Jan 21st, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

1/2…Northern victims of child abuse ‘should get €115,000’, says inquiry…

Victims of historic child abuse in the North should receive State-backed compensation payments of up to £100,000 (€115,000), an inquiry has recommended.

Those abused in State-, Church-, and charity run homes should also be offered an official apology from Government and the organisations that ran the residential facilities where it happened, the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry found.

Inquiry chair Anthony Hart outlined his recommendations after he revealed shocking levels of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse from 1922 to 1995.

He said the minimum pay-out should be £7,500 (€8,660), with the maximum amount given to those who had experienced severe levels of abuse as well as being transported to Australia in a controversial migrant scheme.

He said the organisations that ran the abusing homes should make a financial contribution to the Stormont Executive-run scheme.

Mr Hart said the four-year inquiry found “evidence of systemic failings” in the institutions and homes it investigated.

“There was evidence of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, neglect, and unacceptable practices across the institutions and homes examined,” he said.

“The inquiry also identified failings where institutions sought to protect their reputations and individuals against whom allegations were made, by failing to take any action at all, failing to report matters to, or deliberately misleading, the appropriate authorities and moving those against whom allegations were made to other locations.

“This enabled some to continue perpetrating abuse against children.

The inquiry found that those institutions that sent young children to Australia were wrong to do so and there were failures to ensure the children were being sent to suitable homes.”

ANON Jan 21st, 2017 @ 12:22 PM

2/2... The report said::

:: The former head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, was part of an investigation which “effectively silenced” an alleged victim of serial sex attacker Smyth.

:: Smyth’s crimes were ignored to protect the good name of the Church.

:: No credible evidence was found to show that the security services were complicit in exploitation of sex abuse at Kincora boys’ home in east Belfast or that prominent establishment individuals were involved.

:: During evidence sessions, the inquiry heard lurid details about the activities of the serial child molester who frequented Catholic residential homes and was convicted of more than 100 child-abuse charges.

:: Connect provides free phone-based counselling and support to survivors of abuse at freephone 00800 477 477 77 in the North and 1800 477 477 in the Republic and UK

ANON Jan 21st, 2017 @ 12:17 PM

1/2...Cardinal Brady part of process which ‘silenced’ abuse victim…

Inquiry critical of 1975 canon law investigation into the Brendan Smyth case.

A 14-year-old boy who was abused by Norbertine priest Fr Brendan Smyth was “effectively silenced” as a result of a Catholic Church investigation in which the former Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady was involved, the HIA inquiry reported.

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry report refers to the case of Brendan Boland from Dundalk in Co Louth who in the mid 1970s was sexually abused by Smyth.

The then Bishop of Kilmore Francis McKiernan instigated a canon law investigation of his claims.

One of three priests who interviewed Brendan Boland in 1975 was the then Fr John Brady (now Cardinal Brady), later to be appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Catholic primate of Ireland.

The report details how Mr Boland as a boy was not allowed to have his parents present in the interview with him and how he was sworn to secrecy about his allegations against Smyth.

Cardinal Brady told the inquiry that an oath of confidentiality was administered to bring “solemnity” and formality to proceedings and to “ensure the evidence was clear and strong”.

“This may well be so but it also ensured that this child was effectively silenced at the time, rendering him unable to discuss the events with his parents,” Sir Anthony Hart’s inquiry reported.

“As a result he could not receive, and his parents were prevented from giving him, the support that he could have received from them to enable him to try to cope with the abuse he had suffered and the response he received to his disclosure of it.”

ANON Jan 21st, 2017 @ 12:14 PM

2/2...The inquiry noted how Cardinal Brady said that some of the questioning of the boy “now made him cringe in horror”.

It also referred to a second boy being interviewed in secrecy about Smyth.

Cardinal Brady told the inquiry that oaths of secrecy were required so that witnesses could not be suborned and the effect of their testimony weakened.

The inquiry said: “Whilst we accept that may have been part of the reason, we are in no doubt that the predominant reason for those oaths was to ensure that the good name of the Catholic Church was protected by keeping the matters discussed secret.”

The inquiry also noted that in his evidence Cardinal Brady said the interviews should never have been conducted in such fashion, and that he added: “There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view to not destroying the good name of the church”.

The inquiry reported: “Although we are critical of the manner in which they were conducted, we do not consider that the conduct of the two interviews could be said to be relevant to the abuse committed by Fr Smyth, and therefore we do not consider it appropriate to make findings of systemic failings in relation to the conduct of these two interviews.”

However, it said the use to which the information was put amounted to systemic failings. It found that the response of Bishop McKiernan to the allegations against Smyth were “wholly inadequate”.

The inquiry heard that Smyth had admitted that during the course of his religious life from the late 1940s to the early 1990s he might have sexually abused more than 200 children.

The inquiry report was critical of his Norbertine Order, the diocese of Kilmore, the diocese of Down and Connor, the Sisters of Nazareth and the De La Salle order for failing to adequately deal with Smyth.

Benson Jan 21st, 2017 @ 11:15 AM

De La Sillys Rubane

Witnesses clearly distinguished between the administration of corporal punishment in a controlled manner, which they accepted as a reasonable response to misbehaviour, physical punishment which was excessive and aggressive, and violent behaviour which was at times random and unprompted. Witnesses who were resident in Rubane across the four decades of its operation described staff losing control and severely beating boys, excessive caning and strapping which was not limited to hands and behinds, and some staff using their fists and feet to hit boys. They described a culture of physical force being used to assert and maintain authority and control and an atmosphere where the risk of physical violence was constantly present and often realised. Chapter VIII of the De La Salle Order’s rules also addressed the use of corporal punishment:
“The Brothers shall be careful never to touch or strike any of their scholars and never to repulse or treat them rudely; all such means of correction should never be used by the Brothers, as being very unbecoming and opposed to charity and Christian meekness.”
The rules also specified that if Brothers had to punish boys they should be extremely careful to do so with great moderation and self possession and should:
“never undertake to punish in hastiness, or when they feel excited."
The De La Salle Order accepted in its evidence to the Inquiry that its own Rules about the administration of punishment were not always observed and that on occasions the boundary between corporal punishment and physical abuse was definitely crossed. The De La Salle Order suggested this may have been because there was a blurring by the Brothers, many of whom worked in the school in Rubane as well as the home, of the distinctions between how corporal punishment could be administered in school, i.e. with use of a strap, in front of other pupils, and with no requirement to record it and how it should have been applied in the home.

If this blurring occurred, it would indicate a failing in the management of staff and in the guidance and oversight provided to them to ensure they understood and met statutory regulations. We consider that the Order’s response and explanation appear to ignore or excuse each Brother’s individual responsibility to meet the Order’s rules about the chastisement of children.

ANON Jan 21st, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Please Copy and Paste....http://www.thejournal.ie/northern-ireland-childrens-homes-abuse-3196344-Jan2017/

ANON Jan 20th, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

Man jailed for 15 years for sex attacks on Flintshire children…

A man has been jailed for 15 years for a series of attacks on children in Flintshire.
Mold Crown Court heard how Warwick Ab