January Comments 2018

ANON Jan 30th, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

Eight-month-old girl raped in India…

There have been numerous protests across India against rape and sexual violence in eight-month-old Indian girl is recovering in hospital after she was raped at her home in Delhi, the latest such case in a country notorious for high levels of sexual violence.

The girl's parents rushed her to hospital after discovering her bed covered in blood when they returned from work on Sunday.

She later underwent a three-hour operation for her injuries.

The Press Trust of India said the girl's 27-year-old cousin had been arrested and charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, meaning he could face a life sentence.

A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 said one in three rape victims in India was a minor.

It has expressed alarm over the widespread sexual abuse of children.
Nearly 11,000 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau's latest figures.

It said three children were raped every day in Delhi alone.

The city hit global headlines in 2012 when several men raped a young female student who later died from her injuries.

ANON Jan 29th, 2018 @ 09:07 PM

1/6…Judges dealing with cases of potential child sex abuse and serious mental health issues have expressed their deep frustration with the lack of appropriate facilities for vulnerable children in need of the State’s care….

“The lack of planning continues, substantial resources are invested into giving the children the appropriate care they need in secure care and [then] the potential is nearly ripped out from under their feet at the lack of onward placement, and the level of uncertainty is causing undue stress to these children,” the judge said in one case.
In another, the judge said there had to be “a recognition there is a failure to deal with this”.

She added: “This is not the first time a judge has said this over the years. “Over the last 25 years it is constant and children with a particular presentation have no facilities in this State to meet their needs, resources are an issue, a bespoke solution for every child is perhaps not available.”

The 16 reports from the CCLRP feature allegations of child sex abuse including one case involving abuse by multiple people including the children’s parents and lack of adequate services for severely disturbed and mentally ill teenagers.

Of the 16 reports, eight track High Court cases that come before that court repeatedly.

“They all concern the attempts of guardians ad litem, parents and foster parents to obtain appropriate placements and services for children and young people with severe psychological and psychiatric needs,” said CCLRP.

“In many instances such cases come back before the court repeatedly over many months, and the reports show the frustration of the judge hearing them as she attempts to order the CFA to find solutions.”

ANON Jan 29th, 2018 @ 09:04 PM

2/6...It did point out that the High Court also heard of good outcomes for children who received appropriate treatment including one case of a very disturbed boy who had made a number of suicide attempts.

He was sent to a special unit in Britain. After four months there was great improvement and after he turned 18 he came home to a privately-funded placement in an adult psychiatric unit and the court heard he was doing extremely well.

CCLRP attended a number of cases in the District Court, all of which involved allegations of child sexual abuse.

“When such allegations are made legal, issues concerning the admission of hearsay evidence from children and access to Garda interviews made for the purposes of a criminal investigation often arise,” it said.

“Difficulties in accessing specialist assessments of the children also arise.”

Dr Carol Coulter, CCLRP director, said she hoped the lengthy reports would assist professionals and policy-makers in understanding the difficulties they throw up, “particularly the lack of a national system for the robust diagnosis of child sexual abuse, the lack of co-operation between the criminal justice system, and the child protection system and the need for timely therapeutic support for the victims”.

“The issue of adequate facilities and therapy for disturbed young people has preoccupied the High Court for years,” she said.

“Week after week the Child Care Law Reporting Project hears frustrated judges pressurise the Child and Family Agency to find suitable placements and appropriate treatment for these children.

The court cases are consuming a lot of resources that would be better spent on developing long-term solutions.”

ANON Jan 29th, 2018 @ 08:59 PM

3/6..Parents named among sex abusers...

Two young children were taken into care under a voluntary arrangement in June 2014 on the grounds of neglect linked to their parents’ misuse of alcohol.

However, in December 2015, 18 months after coming into care, the children disclosed sexual abuse against 11 named people, including their parents, two male relatives, a female relative, three teen girls and two other men.

They also alleged another female relative was there when they were abused. Six months later, as a result of these disclosures, the couple’s newborn baby was taken into care under an emergency care order. Gardaí began an investigation and a specialist Garda child sex abuse interviewer questioned the children for the purposes of a criminal case.

The Child and Family Agency sought the DVDs of the interviews, but initially this was resisted by the Gardaí on the basis it could prejudice the criminal case. Eventually, the DVDs were released to the agency following a court order.

The agency made an application to the court for the children’s evidence to be given indirectly, as hearsay evidence, through playing the DVDs of the Garda interviews, and through evidence from social workers and the foster carers of what the children had said.

This was granted by the judge.

In the DVDs, the two children, both of primary school age, described in detail being forced to perform oral sex on the adults and being raped by some of them. They also gave detailed physical descriptions of all the adults involved.

The parents denied there had been any physical or sexual abuse of the children.

The case resumes later this year.

ANON Jan 29th, 2018 @ 08:56 PM

4/6...Behaviour too serious for secure care

A teenager, whose behaviour was known to be potentially dangerous to others, was refused admittance into secure care detention because the Special Care Committee found his behaviour to be too serious for secure care.

The boy was living in a non-secure residential placement without any therapeutic input despite immediate and long-term psychological and psychiatric therapy being recommended by the psychologist who assessed him three times in 2017.

Senior counsel for the guardian ad litem told the High Court that the case highlighted the unsuitable nature of secure care premises in risky situations.

Two weeks later in the High Court, the judge heard that two of three suggested placements in England had been found unsuitable and that the CFA might have to look to other jurisdictions.

The US was mooted.

The boy was stabilised but did not appear to be returning to his open residential unit within his curfew hours and was still using drugs. Therefore, there were still concerns about his wellbeing and that of society in general.

Senior counsel for the CFA assured the court the matter was being progressed.
Counsel informed the judge that a unit had been created within the auspices of the CFA for children with the harmful behaviours in question and a referral to this unit would be looked at.

The District Court, where parallel proceedings were being heard, was told that the unit for children with these harmful behaviours had said that A did not meet its criteria due to age.

When the case returned in January it had still not been resolved and the boy was in a non-secure placement.

ANON Jan 29th, 2018 @ 08:54 PM

5/6...Fostered teens beaten and bullied...

Dublin District Court heard that two teenage boys in foster care were being regularly subjected to beatings, bullying, and harassment and were threatened with having their throats cut or being shot by people in the community.

They were in the care of a close relative.

The situation was described to the judge during a hearing of a review of the after-care plan for the older boy, A.

The judge heard how numerous efforts had been made by the CFA and the foster carer with both Council X, where the family lived, and with Council Y, a neighbouring county where the boys attended school, to have the family rehoused, but with no success.

Both councils had been summoned to attend court and Council X had attended and engaged, but Council Y had not.

All the agencies and the foster carer agreed that it wasn’t possible to finalise A’s after-care plans unless the foster carer could move out of the area with him and his brother.

Both the boys’ social worker and guardian ad litem gave evidence of the family’s urgent need for rehousing.

Council Y offered a house that was uninhabitable and when that was refused, had put the family on the bottom of the housing list.

The older boy’s GP had reported that A’s life was at risk and recommended that the foster carer should move out of the area due to the bullying and harassment.

The foster carer gave evidence that A and B were afraid to go to the shops or leave their front door due to fears of bullying, harassment and threats.

She described how she had to drive both boys around in the middle of the night to help them sleep.

The judge directed that the CFA should issue a further witness summons to the named official in Council Y.

ANON Jan 29th, 2018 @ 08:51 PM

6/6....Children’s years in and out of courts…

Following allegations of sex abuse by two children, referred to as A and B, it took 10 months before they were seen by a child sex abuse unit and a year and a half before one of them was interviewed by gardaí.

While the children later made partial retractions, there was no finding as to whether or not the allegations were credible and during the court proceedings, two expert witnesses expressed concerns about the quality of the interviews carried out with the children.

A and B were in care for three years and then returned home.

Their younger siblings C and D, were put into foster care under a voluntary arrangement between the parents and the Child and Family Agency.

The CFA applied to the District Court to have the children taken into care but after 15 months withdrew the application, so no judicial determination was made on any of the issues that arose.

A and B had alleged that C and D had been sexually abused by their parents and the younger children were taken into voluntary care. In May 2016, the CFA sought to withdraw its application for the care orders for C and D, as it was attempting to reunify the family.

That was challenged in the High Court and the case continued.
In December 2016 an expert gave evidence to the court about the Signs of Safety model for protecting children within the family. In July 2017 during the Care Order hearing, the CFA secured an adjournment until October 2017 to facilitate the reunification.

One child returned to live with the parents in August 2017 and the other was returned home in late 2017 following the agreement of the parents to work with the Signs of Safety programme.

ANON Jan 26th, 2018 @ 03:42 PM

1,100 reports of suspected abuse since mandatory reporting…

Just over 1,100 reports of suspected child abuse have been made in the first six weeks of mandatory reporting well below the figures that were expected.

Mandatory reporting of child-abuse concerns came into force on December 11.

There had been concerns that the new system would place serious pressure on child-protection services and would only exacerbate and lengthen social-work waiting lists.

Tusla had estimated that mandatory reporting would result in between 22,000 and 65,000 additional reports each year.

Speaking in the Seanad, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said Tusla has put structures and processes in place ahead of the rollout of mandatory reporting.

She said online training around reporting was also put in place.

“Taking all of these factors into account, there was no doubt in my mind that we were never more ready to take this hugely important step,” said Ms Zappone.

“We are now six weeks into mandatory reporting and yesterday I received an update from Tusla. The figures are preliminary and I want to underline that.

“However, the leadership of Tusla say that just over 1,100 mandated reports have been received.

“Even with the health warning that the figures are preliminary, it is clear that the anticipated spike has not yet happened.

“Thankfully the negative impact on children’s services has also not materialised.”

Ms Zappone said there is no room for complacency and has asked her officials for constant updates on the figures so her department can respond to any increases in reporting.

However, as far back as August 2016, when a regime of mandatory reporting was being developed Tusla chief executive Fred McBride wrote to the Department of Children to raise his concerns around the new system.

He told it: “I have serious concerns regarding the commencement of the mandatory reporting aspect of the Children First Act.

“Evidence from other jurisdictions indicates that mandatory reporting could increase referrals to the agency by 150%.”

Under the new system professionals who deal with children, including teachers, nurses, and Gardaí, are required to report any suspicions of child abuse to Tusla.

Those making mandated reports must do so in writing.

Tusla has an online portal in place for the receipt of these mandated reports which allows people to register and submit any concerns directly.

ANON Jan 26th, 2018 @ 03:35 PM

Sex abuse survivors 'must be heard' for report recommendations…

Victims of historical sexual abuse have appealed to the Head of the Civil Service to listen to survivors as he moves to implement the recommendations of the Hart Report.

David Sterling told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee yesterday that draft legislation to put the recommendations into action will be ready by the summer.

If the Stormont Executive is not up and running by then, he said, he would ask the Secretary of State to take the issue to Westminster.

However, victims have given a mixed response to the announcement, reminding Mr Sterling not everyone was happy with just how far the recommendations went.

Jon McCourt, who was abused at St Joseph's children's home in Londonderry, said: "When we met the Secretary of State and David Sterling last year, we made clear that we expected urgent action to establish a redress scheme which meets the needs of victims.

“But we also put them on notice that Sir Anthony Hart's recommendations fall some significant way short of victims' expectations.

"For instance, Hart recommends a £7,500 standard payment with no account taken of how many years were spent in an abusive environment, whereas we believe £10,000 is a fairer starting point and that the length of time spent in care should be factored into the payment.

"We have engaged in consultation with government officials in good faith over recent months. We need assurances that government is listening to survivors rather than simply cutting and pasting the, at times flawed, recommendations from Sir Anthony Hart's report."

Fellow survivor and chairperson of victims' group Rosetta Trust Gerry McCann welcomed Mr Sterling's move to get the issue sorted, with or without a Stormont executive.

"But we don't want a redress scheme and other measures which sell victims short after the extent of suffering which so many have endured," he added.

The report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was published in January 2017, just days after the collapse of power-sharing.

ANON Jan 26th, 2018 @ 03:30 PM

Man jailed for sexually exploiting young girls on social media…

Dublin man Matthew Horan, who sexually exploited girls as young as nine through social media, has been jailed for nine and a half years, with the final two years suspended.

Horan, from St John's Crescent in Clondalkin, used Snapchat, Instagram, musical.ly and Kik to ask young girls to send him sexually explicit videos and pictures.

The 26-year-old gathered thousands of images of the girls after obtaining them through various apps.

In one case, he threatened an 11-year-old that he would circulate naked pictures of her to her friends if she refused to send him more.

He also recorded video and audio conversations with the children on Skype, including 60 videos of two nine-year-olds with whom he had contact.

He was convicted on charges of child exploitation involving 15 children online and the distribution of child abuse images, among other offences.

Sentencing Horan, Judge Martin Nolan said to describe his actions as "depraved" is an understatement.

He described Horan as a person with a debased interest in sex and an "unhealthy and insidious interest in children"; adding all of the crimes were committed for his own "indulgence and pleasure".

Judge Nolan said anyone who had listened to the evidence in relation to the conversations he held online with children "could not but be appalled" by their content.

He added that Horan had "exploited children in a horrible way" which would have long-terms effects on his victims and their families.

Judge Nolan said Horan was an "inadequate" individual who was"incapable" of forming normal relationships and who led an "introverted and lonely life".

Referencing mitigating circumstances put forward by his defence counsel, in relation to his childhood and medical evidence of his being on the autism spectrum, Judge

Nolan said while taking all of this into account it "didn't mean he didn't know what he was doing was wrong".

He sentenced him to nine and a half years in prison, with the final two years suspended.

Judge Nolan said at some point in the future Horan would be released from prison and he was seeking a report from the Probation Service as to what type of intervention could take place while he is in prison to "reform" him

ANON Jan 24th, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

HIA report: Bishop urges action over abuse survivors…

The Catholic Bishop of Derry has urged politicians to prioritise the implementation of recommendations for survivors of institutional abuse.

Bishop Donal McKeown made the comments a year after the publication of a report by the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

It made a variety of recommendations including compensation, a memorial and a public apology to abuse survivors.

These have not been implemented since the collapse of devolution.

A fresh round of political talks aimed at restoring devolution in Northern Ireland is expected to begin on Wednesday,

Last December, the head of the NI civil service wrote to victims explaining payments would be open to legal challenge without ministerial approval.

The HIA was established to examine allegations of child abuse in children's homes and other residential institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

The inquiry, which was chaired by Sir Anthony Hart, published its findings in January 2017.

In a statement, Bishop McKeown said the year-long absence of power sharing at Stormont has "dashed" survivors hopes of redress as outlined in the report.
Image caption

He added: "In that time, more former residents of homes have died and others have continued to suffer in different ways.

"Scars inflicted in childhood affect people throughout their lives. Families, spouses and children can also suffer.

"In the upcoming talks, I encourage our political leaders to prioritise the full implementation of the Hart recommendations.

"The needs of the suffering are more important than anything else."
Image caption Clint Massey has been told he has only months to live

Last week, Clint Massey, who suffered sexual abuse at a Belfast boys' home, made an emotional plea for politicians to "stop bickering".

Mr Massey suffers from lung and brain cancer, and said he "wants to be here when this is finally wrapped up.

ANON Jan 23rd, 2018 @ 06:38 PM

St John of God order reports allegations against former principal to Garda

The St John of God order has said it has told the Garda Síochána about new allegations of child abuse against a former school principal who subsequently went to work with children in Africa.

Br Aidan Clohessy was head of St Augustine’s, a school for boys with special needs in Blackrock, Co Dublin, from 1970 until 1993, when he was relocated to Malawi.

The first serious child-abuse allegation was made against him in 1985; two new claims by former St Augustine’s pupils emerged as late as this week, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

The report claimed that up to 20 allegations were made against Br Clohessy up to 2014, and that when the State established the Residential Institutions Redress Board, in 2002, payouts were made to Irish accusers of Br Clohessy but he continued to work with children in Africa after that time.

It also alleged that he had converted a garage at his home to house boys who had been on the streets.

Irish journalists were brought to Mzuzu, Malawi’s third-largest city, in 2010 to see the work of the Tipperary-born brother, who had established an array of mental and other health services for some of the most vulnerable people there, including prisoners.

The St John of God Order said in a statement: “While the order cannot comment on individual cases or on cases arising from unsubstantiated reporting, it is responding in accordance with its safeguarding policies and procedures and has reported the allegations to the relevant authorities and will co-operate as required.”

The order said it was reviewed in Ireland by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in December 2015 and had fully co-operated.

“Up to 2012, the order fully accepts that its responses were not what they should have been in the reporting and management of cases.”

All the allegations reviewed by the safeguarding board were reported to the Garda Síochána and Tusla, the

"The St John of God Order reiterates its unreserved apology to any individual who has suffered any form of abuse while in its care,” the statement said.

The order added that it had “endeavoured to respond to and appropriately support any individual who has been hurt during their time in the care of the order” and that it “would urge anyone who may have suffered abuse or who has a concern to come forward, or to contact the relevant authorities”

ANON Jan 18th, 2018 @ 02:13 PM

Paedophile Eamon Cooke died of lung cancer, inquest hears…

Gardaí spoke to Cooke before his death in relation to disappearance of Phillip Cairns
Convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke died of lung cancer, an inquest has heard.

Cooke was an inmate at Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin 7 when his health deteriorated and he was transferred to a hospice for palliative care.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard evidence of medical records at an inquest into his death.

An inquest is a legal obligation for any prisoner’s death.

Cooke was seen at the Mater Hospital in May 2016 and was transferred for palliative care to St Francis Hospice in Raheny.

Gardaí spoke to Cooke at the hospice before his death in relation to Phillip Cairns, the 13-year-old who disappeared 30 years ago while walking to school in Dublin.

Cooke died at the hospice on June 5th, 2016.

The former radio DJ was a serial paedophile.

The cause of his death was cancer of the lung which had spread, Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said.

The jury at his inquest returned the verdict of death due to natural causes.

ANON Jan 18th, 2018 @ 02:09 PM

Londonderry: Teacher denies sexual abuse of girls…

A 59-year-old music teacher from Londonderry has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing five girls under the age of 13.

Brian Bergin from Brookhill in Culmore, who is self-employed, appeared in Londonderry Crown Court on Tuesday.

He faces 10 charges of engaging in sexual activity with five school girls while in a position of trust.

It is alleged the father of three committed the offences between August 2011 and May 2014.

The defence barrister said some of the complaints were reported by parents and others by teachers.

He added, that due to the number of witnesses, the trial is expected to last for two weeks.

The case was adjourned until 30 January when a trial date will be fixed.
Bergin was released on continuing bail.

ANON Jan 15th, 2018 @ 06:32 PM

Ex-headmaster spared jail for sexual abuse of boy (15)…

A disgraced former headmaster who was honoured by the Queen for his services to young people has been spared jail after admitting sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy.

In August 2016, retired John Coatman (76), was found guilty of gross indecency with a member of a youth group he was involved with in the 1970s.

His conviction was thrown out by the Court of Appeal last April, because of an error on the charge sheet put before the jury.

When the case returned to the Old Bailey for a retrial last month, Coatman pleaded guilty to an amended charge of indecent assault.

Coatman, of Leyburn Gardens, Croydon, south London, was sentenced by Judge Anne Molyneux to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

He was also made subject to a 12-month supervision order.

The court heard that the teenager would visit Coatman's home, where they would engage in "rough and tumble" "play fighting", which later took a sexual turn as the adult touched the boy over his clothes.

Matters escalated when the pair undressed in Coatman's bedroom and the head teacher touched his "younger charge" sexually on three occasions.

The defendant was head teacher of St Andrew's secondary school in Croydon, but the complainant was not a pupil at the school, the court heard. Coatman retired in 1998 after 42 years and was awarded an MBE in 2012.

Prosecutor Mark Trafford QC, told the Old Bailey:

"The defendant's MBE for services to young people was something that he (the complainant) found difficult to comprehend under the circumstances."

Claims against Coatman, who has an inoperable cancer, surfaced in 2014.

In a victim impact statement, the complainant said the incidents had left him with emotional difficulties in his later life, and he also suffered from depression.

Sentencing Coatman, Ms Molyneux said: "You were in a position of considerable trust, and he (the complainant) trusted you.

He enjoyed being with you over a short period of time."

ANON Jan 12th, 2018 @ 01:11 PM

Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Home survivors needed for academic investigation…

Survivors of Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes in the North are being encouraged to come forward and share their experience with a working group investigating the institutions.

Academics from Queen’s University in Belfast and Ulster University will spend a year examining the institutions’ operation between 1922 and 1999.

They will interview former residents and comb government and institutional records.

It is claimed that, as recently as the 1980s, new-born babies were being forcibly taken from their mothers and given up for adoption by nuns in the North’s laundries, women forced into homes in Belfast and Newry after becoming pregnant.

A working group overseeing the review is chaired by Norah Gibbons but campaigners have called for a full public inquiry.

“It is essential that we develop a strong evidence base about the operation of these institutions in the last century,” said Ms Gibbons.

“The research will not only look at historical records. Critically, it will also involve listening to and collating the accounts of women who resided in mother and baby homes or worked in Magdalene laundries.”

Her inter-departmental group was established at the end of February last year following a request from Stormont ministers to investigate historical abuse at the homes.

Eunan Duffy, who was born in the Marian Vale mother and baby home said a full public inquiry is needed immediately.

“There are people dying off on a regular basis waiting for justice in whatever form that comes,” he said. “All this is doing is kicking the can down the road.”

The publication of the McAleese Report into the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland 2013 resulted in a State apology by Enda Kenny in 2013.

However, the report and the subsequent redress scheme have since come in for severe criticism.

An investigation of the redress scheme by the Office of the Ombudsman, published in November, found the Department of Justice failed to examine all available evidence when it wrongly refused some Magdalene laundry survivors access to redress payments

ANON Jan 11th, 2018 @ 12:22 PM

Mother and baby home abuse research commissioned…

Research is to be carried out into the operation of former mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries in NI.

The research will be carried out by academics from Queen's University and Ulster University and is expected to take 12 months.

It will cover the period 1922 to 1999.

The announcement follows a decision by the former NI executive to look at institutions not looked at in the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

The Department of Health has commissioned the research.

It will speak to those with direct experience of the various institutions and also examine government and institutional records.

Norah Gibbons, the chair of an inter-departmental working group established by the former executive, welcomed the news.

"It is essential that we develop a strong evidence base about the operation of these institutions in the last century," she said.

Patrick Corrigan, from Amnesty International in Northern Ireland, said that the group would be "concerned" if the research was an alternative to an investigation.

"Norah Gibbons and the working group need to meet with victims from these institutions so that they can directly hear and heed their calls," he said.

ANON Jan 11th, 2018 @ 12:19 PM

The Hyponatraemia Inquiry was set up in 2004 - its publication has been delayed several times....

A solicitor for one of the families said that once the inquiry publishes its findings they will consider asking the police to investigate the whistleblower's claims.

The inquiry is looking into the deaths of Conor Mitchell, 15; Raychel Ferguson, nine; Claire Roberts, nine; Adam Strain, four; and 17-month-old Lucy Crawford.

They died in hospitals between 1995 and 2001.
The inquiry is due to publish its findings at the end of the month, 13 years after it was first established.

The whistleblower's claims have been published on the Hyponatraemia Public Inquiry Website as part of correspondence between its chair and the directorate of legal services.

The whistleblower, who works for the Western Health Trust, raised questions over searches of a premises in the Western Health and Social Services Board in 2004.

The findings of the Health and Social Care Board's internal inquiry, published on Wednesday, was that there was no evidence to suggest that information had been deliberately removed or that searches had not been carried out adequately.

The family of Raychel Ferguson is one of those questioning those findings.

Raychel died after being administered with a lethal dose of intravenous fluids in 2001.

Des Doherty, the family's solicitor, said they firmly believed the board's investigation was "without merit" and that the family remained of the view that there had been an attempt to cover-up the truth.

A spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Board said a full and thorough investigation had been carried out, which found no evidence to support claims of any "deliberate attempt to remove evidence" or "any deliberate attempts to destroy evidence or equipment".

A spokesperson also said that the board was confident that no evidence was withheld from the inquiry.

ANON Jan 8th, 2018 @ 06:01 PM

Child Sex Offender...

A child sex offender from Co Antrim has been jailed in England for a sustained campaign in which he approach thousands of boys online in a bid to get them to send him indecent images of themselves.

Patrick McDonald (23), from Crumlin, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison at Reading Crown Court following a National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation.

Speaking at the court on Friday, Judge Grainger said McDonald had targeted "thousands of children", adding: "The scale of the offending was breathtaking."

The NCA is working with the police to identify and safeguard the children targeted by McDonald, who was also placed on the sex offender's register for life and put under an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

McDonald attempted to establish contact with potential victims online using Facebook profiles, posing as fictitious teenage girls.

If they replied to his first approach, McDonald would quickly begin sending sexual messages including explicit pictures of women's bodies.

He incited a number of children to send him indecent pictures of themselves and in many cases to engage in sexual activity.

Following McDonald's arrest he admitted to NCA officers he had offended against at least 500 victims, though the real number is believed to be higher.

He pleaded guilty last year to making indecent images of children and inciting children to engage in sexual acts. The NCA has found no evidence that McDonald committed contact offences.

Martin Ludlow, operations manager at the NCA, said: "We have identified and brought to justice a prolific offender who has exploited the trust of many, many children.

"In cases like these, their welfare is our paramount consideration.

"We and our partners remain determined to take action against criminals who exploit online tools and apps to abuse children.

"Information and guidance for children and young people from five to 18 on staying safe online and in the physical world, as well as information for parents and teachers, is available on our dedicated website www.thinkuknow.co.uk.

"Anyone who is concerned that someone is in immediate danger should call 999.

ANON Jan 7th, 2018 @ 11:06 AM

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY...

"There are many former and present paedophile clerical sexual abusers like paedophile O’Grady within Catholic Church and it is up to the people to expose them,

This letter that has been written by a cleric means nothing if the Catholic Church continues to cover up the Horrific Sexual Abuse perpetrated on innocent children within the their ranks and their various place where they come into contact with children

"PLEASE DO NOT LET IT BE A CASE OF "AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE THERE IS MORE SAID THAN DONE"

Let us reject the present policy of the Catholic Church “OMERTA”

ANON Jan 6th, 2018 @ 11:55 AM

(1)...Bishop warns former US paedophile priest “actively seeking victims” in Ireland…
Oliver O'Grady, still from "Deliver Us from Evil".

Famous convicted child abuser Oliver O’Grady “an evil menace” living in Waterford city, reported to police

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore has warned the public in his that former priest and convicted pedophile, Oliver O’Grady, is living largely unsupervised in their community and “actively seeking victims”.

In his letter, sent on Dec 21, to priests and schools in the area Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan warned the community to be “aware that this man continues to be an evil menace to innocent children".

O’Grady (71), a former cleric who served in the California from 1973 onward, has served seven years of a 14-year sentence in the US for the sexual abuse of two brothers over a ten-year period.

In 2001 he was deported to Ireland and in 2010 he was found to be volunteering in Rotterdam, Holland, in a Catholic parish under the pseudonym “Brother Francis”.

That year images of the sexual abuse of children were found on his laptop and he was sentenced to three years in prison by the courts in 2012.

ANON Jan 6th, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

(2)...Evil menace to innocent children…
In his recent letter, Bishop Cullinan warned the people of Ireland that O’Grady is “actively seeking victims in our midst”. He attached a photograph of O’Grady.

TheJournal.ie, who have seen the letter, reported that the Bishop had been updated on the day he wrote the letter of “recent activities” of O’Grady.

He warned that it was important “to be aware that this man continues to be an evil menace to innocent children”.

He continued “Please advise your safeguarding representatives and all your parish groups, especially those working in any way with children, to be aware that this man continues to be an evil menace to innocent children.

“If this man is seen in your parish please notify [the] Bishop’s House as soon as possible.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore said Cullinan sent the letter to the catholic primary schools, as well as the clergy of the diocese, as patron of the Catholic schools in Waterford and Lismore.

Fr Liam Power told the Irish Independent the matter was immediately referred to Gardaí (police) and Tusla (the child and family agency) when the Bishop became aware of it.

ANON Jan 6th, 2018 @ 11:50 AM

(3)...Deliver Us from Evil”…

In 2005 O’Grady was interviewed for the documentary “Deliver Us from Evil”. He openly discussed his predilection for children and compared these feelings to those for adults.

In this clip, which some may find disturbing, he discusses his attraction to children:
Clerical abuse survivor and former member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors,

Marie Collins commended the Bishop for sending his letter.

She told the Independent "While it is good to see the bishop issuing this warning and passing on his concerns to gardaí, I would ask who is monitoring this very dangerous pedophile? As Mr O'Grady is no longer a priest, it is not likely that responsibility would lie with the Church.

Are the civil authorities taking any action to ensure the children of the area are being properly safeguarded?"

Collins expressed concern about the "many other men who have abused children, served their sentence and now live among us".

According to RTE, Ireland’s national broadcaster, O’Grady is believed to be complying with the terms of his sentence and has informed Gardai of where he lives.

He is not currently under investigation.

O’Grady is on the Sex Offenders Register, which means that he must inform Gardaí of where he resides, or if he moves house.

If a person on the sex offenders list fails to comply with these rules, they could face up to five years in prison or a fine of up to €10,000.

ANON Jan 6th, 2018 @ 11:47 AM

Concerns have been expressed over the lack of supervision of a notorious paedophile former priest whom the Catholic Bishop of Waterford and Lismore has warned is "extremely dangerous" and is "actively seeking victims".

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins paid tribute to Bishop Phonsie Cullinan for a letter he sent to priests and schools in his diocese just before Christmas about convicted paedophile Oliver O'Grady, who is living in Waterford city.

In the letter, Dr Cullinan attached a photo of the former cleric who served in the US and said he had informed gardaí of his recent activities in the locality.

He asked the letter's recipients to advise all parish groups, especially those working in any way with children, to be "aware that this man continues to be an evil menace to innocent children".

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms Collins, a survivor of clerical abuse and former member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors, commended Bishop Cullinan.

"While it is good to see the bishop issuing this warning and passing on his concerns to gardaí, I would ask who is monitoring this very dangerous paedophile?

As Mr O'Grady is no longer a priest, it is not likely that responsibility would lie with the Church. Are the civil authorities taking any action to ensure the children of the area are being properly safeguarded?" she queried.

Ms Collins also expressed concern about the "many other men who have abused children, served their sentence and now live among us".

A spokesman for the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore told the Irish Independent that Dr Cullinan sent the letter to the catholic primary schools, as well as the clergy of the diocese, as patron of the Catholic schools in Waterford and Lismore, "for whom he has a duty of care, especially for the children".

According to Fr Liam Power, as a child safeguarding matter, it was immediately referred to Gardaí and Tusla when the Bishop became aware of it.

O'Grady (71) served seven years of a 14-year sentence in the US following his conviction for the sexual abuse of two brothers over a 10-year period when one was as young as three.

He was deported to Ireland in 2001 and in 2010 he was discovered volunteering under a pseudonym 'Brother Francis' at a Catholic parish in Rotterdam.

That same year his laptop was discovered with sexual abuse images of children as young as two. He was handed a three-year sentence by the courts in 2012

ANON Jan 6th, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

Man, 21, charged with raping child relative…
A man aged 21 was arrested yesterday in Cork city and charged with raping a child, related to him.

Detective Garda Eimear Brennan arrested the man at his home before 8am and brought him before Cork District Court later in the day.

The accused was told he could reply to each of the six charges brought against him but that anything he might say would be written down and could be given in evidence in court.

He made no reply to any of the charges.

The charges cover a period between November 2011 and June 2016.

The first charge stated that he raped the girl at his home in Cork. There are three further rape charges against the defendant in respect of the same complainant.

There are two charges of sexually assaulting the same girl.

No details of the alleged offences were given yesterday in court.

Det Garda Brennan said the prosecution had no objection to the defendant being remanded on bail, provided certain conditions were applied.

Those conditions included that he would sign on at his local Garda station three times a week between 9am and 9pm.

He is also required to live at home and notify Det Garda Brennan 48 hours in advance if there is to be any change of address.

He is required not to interfere with any of the State witnesses in the case. He must surrender his passport and give an undertaking not to apply for travel documents.

The defendant is working but, because of his relatively low wages and the seriousness of the charges, Judge Olann Kelleher agreed to an application for him to be represented by Frank Buttimer on free legal aid.

Inspector John Deasy said the DPP had directed trial by indictment on all charges.