July Comments

ANON Jul 30th, 2015 @ 11:05 AM

A former Church of Ireland lay worker has been sent for trial charged with indecently assaulting boys over a 13-year period…

Patrick O’Brien (76) had a book of evidence served on him at Dublin District Court today.

He is charged with 75 counts of indecent assault on 10 separate alleged victims between 1977 and 1990.

Judge Alan Mitchell sent him for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The offences are alleged to have happened at locations around the country including St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, several residential addresses and on a boat.

Judge Mitchell gave the defendant the formal warning that he must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days.

He remanded Mr O'Brien on bail, under existing terms.

Mr O’Brien, of Knocklyon Road, Templeogue is charged with indecent assault on boys in Dublin and other counties including Galway, Westmeath and Kildare.

At a previous hearing, Detective Garda Anthony Maloney said he arrested Mr O'Brien at Terenure Garda Station for the purpose of charge.

“After caution, to each charge he said: ‘no comment’,” Det Garda Maloney said.

The accused was handed a copy of the charges and arrest warrant.

At the last hearing, Judge Cormac Dunne granted bail in Mr O’Brien’s own bond of €500 with no cash lodgement required.

Conditions were that he signs on at Terenure Garda Station between 9am and 9pm every Wednesday.

He is also to reside at his home address and surrender his passport to Gardai.

Det Garda Maloney confirmed that there were no concerns that the accused would not appear for his trial.

He said a lot of people had been interviewed as part of the investigation and asked that Mr O'Brien should not have any contact with them.

Judge Dune said this was an “intrinsic” part of bail.

ANON Jul 30th, 2015 @ 09:53 AM

Cyril Smith M1 child abuse probe closes over lack of evidence…

A probe into claims the former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith was found with child abuse images in his car boot has been closed because of a lack of evidence.

It is understood the Liberal MP, who died in 2010, was stopped on the M1 in Northamptonshire during the 1980s.

He was then released after making a telephone call to an unidentified third party in London, it has been claimed.

Northamptonshire Police said no witnesses had been found and no reports of the alleged incident were uncovered.

Five people who came forward to help the investigation offered third-party accounts that could not be used as evidence, police said.

The claims surfaced in a book on Smith written by current Rochdale MP, Labour's Simon Danczuk.

He said the politician, who was the Liberal and then Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, was arrested, but the material seized by police had disappeared.

Detectives said they interviewed Mr Danczuk, two former chief constables, about 60 police staff, journalist Don Hale who has written extensively about Smith, and several members of the public.

Northamptonshire Police said Special Branch "had undertaken a manual trawl of their archives" and the Crown Prosecution Service had also searched its archives "for relevant information" but had found nothing.

"To date, no witness has been found who saw Smith in custody or was involved in his arrest and no reports of the alleged incident have been uncovered," a statement said.

"Furthermore, no witnesses have been found from Special Branch or any other senior influence, while a primary witness a canteen worker mentioned in the book cannot be identified."

The force said the cold case would be reopened if more information came to light.

Northamptonshire Police previously said in response to a Freedom of Information request that laws linked to security services prevented it from divulging information it held on Smith.

That triggered speculation that records on the late MP may have been destroyed by or at the request of security services.

A number of men have told Greater Manchester Police they were abused by Smith, whose family has always denied claims of abuse.

ANON Jul 29th, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

1/2...210 cases of sexual abuse in schools eligible for compensation…

“Limited scope of scheme criticised by abuse survivor Louise O’Keeffe”…

The State Claims Agency has identified 210 cases of alleged child sexual abuse in schools, which are eligible for compensation under a Department of Education recompense scheme.

Each individual can apply for a maximum ex-gratia payment of €84,000, leaving the State with a liability of up to €17.6 million.

The scheme was set-up after Louise O’Keeffe won her case in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in January 2014 after a 20-year legal struggle.

It ruled that the state was liable for abuse carried out by her teacher Leo Hickey at Dunderrow National School in west Cork in the 1970s.

Ms O’Keeffe and other abuse survivors have strongly criticised the scope of the compensation scheme, accusing the state of failing to accept its legal responsibility.

Survivors of abuse can qualify only where it is shown that the school authorities failed to take action in response to a complaint of abuse.

The scheme will also only apply to abuse that took place prior to 1991, when child protection measures were introduced, subject to the statute of limitations.

Some 45 cases against the State were outstanding in 2014, while a further 90 were withdrawn after the department threatened to pursue them for legal costs.

Last December, applicants were asked to come forward again, producing the updated total of 210 cases.

The department indicated that this would be the upper limit, saying “it is expected that there will be cases that will not satisfy the criteria”.

ANON Jul 29th, 2015 @ 11:28 AM

2/2...The maximum settlement payment is based on Ms O’Keeffe’s award of €30,000 from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), combined with the €54,000 she received from Criminal Inquiries Compensation Tribunal.

A “specified amount” for legal costs will also be paid.

Ms O’Keeffe has criticised the scale of the offer, saying the €30,000 award from the ECHR “wasn’t compensation for sexual abuse; it was compensation for the lack of protection for me as a child in a national school”.

While the payment figure was agreed last December, Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said the Government had now formally approved the package and the relevant conditions.

An updated action plan has also been lodged with the ECHR to comply with its judgement.

Ms O’Sullivan said: “While there is no legal obligation on the State to address the situation of these survivors, I believe that the approach adopted is fair and balanced in addressing the position of these survivors.”

The Minister added that in making these ex-gratia offers the state was not covering the liability of the perpetrators, school patrons or other co-defendants.

She pointed out that in the O’Keeffe case, no claim was made against the school manager or patron.

The Minister re-iterated her apology “to all those who were sexually abused as school children for the horrific abuse which was inflicted upon them, and for our collective failure to protect them”.

ANON Jul 29th, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

Chelfham Mill School Barnstaple shut in physical abuse inquiry…

A residential school for boys with emotional and behavioural problems has been temporarily closed while police investigate physical abuse claims.

The principal of Chelfham Mill in Barnstaple said it would stay shut for at least six weeks, and Ofsted has suspended its registration to operate.

The privately-run school provides residential and day care for 41 pupils aged seven to 18.
Chelfham Mill normally provides some day care during the summer.

Councils have been instructed by Ofsted to find alternative provisions for boys in their care while the investigation takes place, and parents have been informed of the situation.

In a statement, Devon and Cornwall Police said they were "working closely with partner organisations including social services as this investigation takes place".

The principal of the school, Katy Roberts, said: "The school has been closed for an initial period of six weeks pending investigation by an external agency, but I can assure you I am committed to supporting the investigation process."

An Ofsted spokesperson said: "Ofsted has suspended the registration of the setting pending further inquiries - this will be kept under review as the investigation continues."

The regulator's latest report on Chelfham Mill, in February 2015, found young people were not being adequately safeguarded and the school had "declined in effectiveness."

"The senior leadership team are not successfully managing this home," it said.

The school's "mission statement" is to "provide a secure, caring environment in which each boy can realise his full educational and social capabilities and become a better adjusted individual ready to cope successfully with life's demands"

ANON Jul 29th, 2015 @ 11:23 AM

Patrick Toal is jailed for sex abuse of two members of the same family…

A Belfast pensioner who sexually abused two members of the same family has been given an extended 12 year sentence.

Patrick Toal, formerly of Tollgate House in Bradbury Place, was found guilty by a jury earlier this year of 29 separate counts of sexually abusing his partner's daughter, and her grand-daughter.

The abuse spanned a period of 19 years.

The 71-year-old, who maintains his innocence, was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday.

Telling Toal that he was being handed an extended sentence for the protection of the public, the judge said that after the pensioner has served half his sentence, his release date will then be determined by the Paroles Commission.

In addition to the prison sentence, Toal will spend a further three years on licence when he is released from custody.

He was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for an indefinite period.

The judge said that Toal's actions had left both of his victims suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

He said Toal preyed on the women when they were vulnerable young girls and that grooming was involved.

The judge said Toal had displayed no insight into the significant harm he had caused to both women.

ANON Jul 29th, 2015 @ 11:18 AM

1/2...Toddler taken into care over fears she could be hurt by abuse victim Mum…

The daughter of a woman in Northern Ireland whose mind "shattered" into multiple personalities after being sexually abused in her own childhood is to be taken into care, a High Court judge has ordered.

Mr Justice O'Hara ruled that the step was necessary due to the real and serious risk of harm to the two-year-old girl as her mother switches from one identity to another.

In one episode last year the woman, referred to as 'P', tried to hang herself while she was looking after her child, identified only as 'M'.

Deciding such interference with their human rights was unavoidable, the judge set out how the little girl would find it emotionally confusing to see her mother's personality alter between that of a four-year-old, a teenager and a woman in her twenties.

He said: "This is not a fanciful description of what can happen it is the reality of P's life, caused overwhelmingly by the sordid conduct and abuse by others which leaves her in my judgment, for the present at least, unable to care for M."

The woman, now aged 26, suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID).

Although now separated from M's father, she is again pregnant by him.
In December last year a health and social care trust involved in the case removed the girl from P after she attempted suicide.

After that intervention it went to court seeking a care order for M.

The application was opposed by P, who argued it was wrong to deprive the child of the care of a mother who has never hurt her.

However, M's father backed proposals for his mother and stepfather to become her primary carers. Assessments by experts in personality disorders agreed that P is deeply affected by her psychiatric condition.

ANON Jul 29th, 2015 @ 11:16 AM

2/2...One psychologist concluded that her disorder is the product of severe, recurrent childhood trauma at the hands of a number of sexual abusers, the court heard.

In a newly published judgment, Mr Justice O'Hara said: "In an effort to cope with this abuse her mind has shattered into fragmented states or personalities."

She can suffer amnesia and switch from one identity to another with regularity. To cope, P has tried to develop a pattern of leaving notes for the next personality to be informed by. Some of her identities can be girls under 10 or teenagers with different behaviour patterns.

Therapeutic intervention would take a minimum of five years, according to experts.

Even then, some patients do not revert to a single personality.

Despite the fact M has never been physically harmed by her mother, a psychologist was clear that she is at significant risk.

She emphasised that nobody knows what goes on in P's mind as she switches between personalities. The possibility of P being contacted by one of her abusers was said to be a major concern.

Mr Justice O'Hara said: "Sadly, within her evidence she herself expressed exactly what the problem is without realising it when she said M 'has five personalities as main carers and all are very unified for her'.

"I do not suggest that she would deliberately harm M physically, but there is a clear and substantial risk of such harm as she switches from one identity or alters to another one such as a child under 10."

He also directed that mother and daughter should at first continue to have weekly contact.

He said: "I find that a reduction to less than once per week would be an excessive and unjustified interference with the rights of this family."

ANON Jul 28th, 2015 @ 04:46 PM

Former Christian Brother jailed for indecent assault…

A former Christian Brother at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork has been sentenced to two concurrent one-year jail terms for indecently assaulting two boys.

Edward Bryan, 62, of Martinvilla, Athboy Road, Trim, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to two charges; one relating to a schoolboy at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork between September 1979 and June 1981 and the other relating to another boy at the school in September 1986.

He left the Brothers in 1994 and took up a position at Oberstown detention centre for juvenile offenders.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: "Edward Bryan has pleaded guilty to counts of indecent assault on two young boys when he was a teacher in a school here in the city. He was in a position of authority.

He abused that trust in authority.

"A significant difference is his present attitude and the fact that he has pleaded guilty.

That to me is a huge change and a change for the better."

Detective Sergeant Vincent O’Sullivan outlined the background to the sexual assaults in the 1980s.

Both of the young teenagers were being coached after school in sports when the crimes were committed.

Defence barrister Brendan Kelly said: "He has instructed me to apologise profusely to the victims for any harm caused to them over the years.

He apologises to his family and to the Order for any disrepute he has brought to them."

Bryan was not in Cork Circuit Criminal Court last month for sentencing as the prosecution said he had made a suicide attempt at his home.

One of the victims did not want his victim impact statement read openly in court and it was handed in to the judge yesterday.

The other injured party stated last month: "I have carried around the shame of his sexual abuse for my entire adult life, never addressing it and always shutting it away from my memories out of embarrassment.

"I suppose I would say that you have stolen a moment of my life that I can never have back."

ANON Jul 28th, 2015 @ 11:28 AM

1/2...Adoption case study: ‘It’s a tragedy I wasn’t given my birth cert’…

David Kinsella, like many adoptees, was refused access to his birth mother’s identity

David Kinsella was illegitimate child number 1629 at St Patrick’s mother-and-baby home in the late 1950s.

For years, it was the only information he had about his identity. His request for information about his birth mother ran into brick walls of State-sanctioned secrecy.

Authorities said he was too young to be given the information when he began looking for it at the age of 17.

When he turned 18, he tried again but was told they were not authorised to release the details.

A helpful social worker told him he had spent four years with his mother at a mother- and-baby home but she couldn’t provide any further information.

“They couldn’t give it to me because it would breach her privacy,” he says.

“It was very touching to know my mother stayed with me for four years. It was the shame and stigma which forced her [to give him up for adoption].

But I still knew nothing about her.”

The denial of his right to an identity, he says, was devastating.

“It’s hard for people who grow up in a family to understand, but it was eating away at me,” he says.

“I remember as early as six years of age, riding a trike and thinking that everything wasn’t as it seemed. Professionals call it ‘genetic bewilderment’.

I know there was a ghost there, a kind of primal wound.”

ANON Jul 28th, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

2/2...Emotional hurt…

Kinsella went through years of drink and drug abuse. He was hospitalised twice.

It was a way of self-medicating against the emotional hurt.

He got clean in his early 20s and worked in London for a time, before returning home and starting a family of his own.

Years later he made fresh inquiries about his birth mother. This time, he was told that she had died two years previously.

The fact that she was dead meant they were finally able to release his birth certificate.

It turned out his birth mother had emigrated to London after he was placed for adoption, had married and had a family of four.

His adoptive parents, he found, had kept the original name his birth mother had given him, David John.

“It turned out that when I was in London I had been working just 15 minutes away from where she lived. It’s a tragedy that I wasn’t able to get my birth cert while she was alive.

I might have been able to meet her. It’s shocking and totally unacceptable that I wasn’t allowed to know her. We all should have a right to our identity,” he says.

Every year, on the anniversary of her death, he travels to Basingstoke to place flowers on her grave.

Yesterday, he was one of a group of campaigners who met Minister for Children James Reilly and other officials to hear details of new adoption legislation.

It holds the promise, Kinsella says, of adopted people having a right to access their birth certificates and other information.

“My birth cert is like a gold nugget. I would love to have anything else she touched or held which is in the possession of authorities.

“If we can get information which belongs to us, without having to fight for it, then it will be a very big breakthrough,” he says.

ANON Jul 28th, 2015 @ 09:09 AM

1/2...Norfolk child sex abuse case: Marie Black guilty…

A woman said to be at the centre of an abuse ring has been found guilty of child sex offences.

Marie Black, 34, of Norwich, stood trial with nine others, including five women, at Norwich Crown Court.

Black denied 26 charges. A jury found her guilty of all but three counts.

She was convicted of offences including rape and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Two men were found guilty of child sex abuse and another woman was found guilty of assault.

Michael Rogers, 53, from Romford, was found guilty of 14 counts including cruelty, rape and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Jason Adams, 43, from Norwich, was convicted of 13 similar counts.

Carol Stadler, 60, from Atkinson Close, Bowthorpe, Norwich, was found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm but cleared of nine other charges, including serious sexual assaults.

They are due to be sentenced on 28 September.

Six other defendants, Anthony Stadler, 63, Nicola Collins, 36, Andrew Collins, 52,

Judith Fuller, 32, Denise Barnes, 34, and Kathleen Adams, 84, all from Norwich, were cleared of all charges.

Marie Black's defence was that she was the victim of a terrible combination of circumstances

Black sobbed uncontrollably in the dock as the verdicts were delivered.
Opening the trial, prosecutor Angela Rafferty QC said Black, previously known as Marie Adams, played an instrumental role in using the five children as "sexual playthings".

ANON Jul 28th, 2015 @ 09:06 AM

2/2..Abused at parties…

The abuse, which is said to have happened in and around Norwich and London, included forcing the children to have sex with one another.

On some occasions, the adults threw parties and played card games to decide who would abuse which child, Mrs Rafferty said.

In interviews the victims described how they were abused in front of one another and other adults.

Some of the abuse involved children's toys, including Barbie dolls.

All of the defendants denied abusing the children, saying it simply did not happen.

During the trial it emerged police had launched an investigation into the conduct of one agency social worker involved in the case.

The court heard that the trial had originally been due to start last year only to be delayed when prosecutors raised concerns over changes made by social workers to statements taken from the children.

This resulted in Norfolk Police launching an investigation into anomalies in documents. Prosecutors decided no action should be taken, Norfolk Police said after the trial.

A police spokeswoman added: "There was no wrongdoing found on the part of the council."

Sheila Lock, interim executive director of children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: "The victims in this case have shown tremendous courage in speaking out.

"The needs of the children, who were central to the prosecution case, have always been at the fore of our minds and have been the main focus of all of the agencies involved.

"Our priority continues to be the children in this case who, despite the ordeal they have been through, are now doing well and are safe from harm."

Deanna Neilson, head of safeguarding at Action for Children, said: "This appalling case reveals the premeditated and organised approach some people take to abusing children.

"We cannot lose sight of the needs of the children who suffered at their hands, even though the abuse has stopped.

"Children must be supported, and in some cases receive therapy, to ensure they are armed with the confidence and knowledge they need to recover from this trauma."

ANON Jul 27th, 2015 @ 06:32 PM

1/2...Mixed reaction to new draft adoption legislation…

There has been a mixed reaction from adoptees' advocacy groups to Government plans to give adopted people a statutory right to information about their birth parents.

People receiving such information would have to agree to not attempt to contact their natural parents, either directly or indirectly.

Today's Government initiative has its roots in the outcry sparked by last year's discovery of the graves of some of the almost 800 children who died in Tuam's mother and baby home.

Adoptees from such homes, and others, stepped up their efforts to vindicate their right to their identities.

This afternoon, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly unveiled the draft Adoption Information and Tracing legislation.

It provides for a presumption that adoptees' birth certificates - which identify the birth-mother can be issued unless a birth parent can provide compelling reasons, such as a possible endangerment to life, that would result from its release.

The person receiving the information would have to sign a statutory declaration to respect the privacy of the birth parent and not to try to contact them directly or indirectly.

ANON Jul 27th, 2015 @ 06:31 PM

2/2...Dr Reilly descirbed the draft legislatrion as a major breakthrough on dealing with a statutory entitlement to identity information for adopted people.

He said sufficient safeguards exist in the bill to ensure birth parents’ constitutional right to privacy is protected.

The Child and Family Agency, Tusla, will establish an Adoption Information Register on which adoptees, birth parents or relatives wishing to have contact can apply to have their details recorded.

Other information, for example on medical history, would only be released with the consent of both parties.

With a general election at most six months away, today's bill is unlikely to be passed by the current Government.

If a future Oireachtas passes the proposed law, there would be a period of one year before it was fully implemented to allow for an awareness campaign to urge birth mothers to register their wish to be or not to be contacted.

Susan Lohan of the Adopition Rights Alliance said she has great expectations of today's briefing, but that the minister Reilly did not describe important detail on how to apply for birth certs and information from files and the time scales on which to expect the specifics.

She told RTÉ’s Six One that despite the children’s minister’s best intentions, very important information on how to apply and how long it will take was not detailed.
Ms Lohan said that she is also concerned Tusla will not have the resources to deal with the arrangement.

ANON Jul 27th, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

Adoption Bill needs to allow full access to identity, says Philomena Lee…

Inspiration behind Hollywood film was speaking at commemoration in Roscrea…
Kathryn Hayes

Philomena Lee, whose devotion to finding her adopted son inspired a Hollywood film, said she would welcome the Government’s proposed Adoption Bill provided it allows adopted children full access to their identity.

Speaking at an event commemorating former residents of the Sean Ross Abbey mother-and-baby home, in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, where her son Anthony is buried, Ms Lee (82) said Ireland needs to move to a more open adoption system similar to the UK.

“Of course I would welcome change,” she said. “It’s not about bothering people that don’t want to be bothered; it’s about getting your identity, and you would welcome that change.”

Ms Lee, who lives in St Alban’s in the UK, travelled to Roscrea with family members, including her daughter Jane Libberton, who discovered her brother Anthony’s headstone at Sean Ross Abbey during research on the family.

“If I went looking for my mother and she didn’t want to know me, I would understand that and I would accept that but at least I would know who I was, and there may be aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters who do want to know,” Ms Libberton said.

Speaking at the ceremony, Susan Lohan of the Adoption Rights Alliance said Ms Lee’s story sets a “wonderful example for everybody in the country who would have us believe that natural parents do not want contact with their children or that their children do not want contact with them”.

“There are people in Leinster House who would have us believe that natural mothers do not want contact with the children that they lost to adoption, that they are somehow afraid of those children,” Ms Lohan said.

She said the details of the Adoption Bill, due to be published soon, do not “give us much hope”.

After a minute’s silence, 100 white balloons representing the “innocence and loss” of all the children who were born and died in Sean Ross Abbey were released into the air by more than 100 people gathered for the ceremony

ANON Jul 27th, 2015 @ 12:08 PM

Cardiff University creates child abuse test for doctors…

A test to help doctors determine if children's injuries resulted from abuse has been developed by Cardiff University.

The university's School of Medicine created a diagnostic "checklist" to identify the likelihood of abusive head trauma (AHT).

"Clinical signs" include fractured ribs, seizures and retinal bleeding.

The university said the test could play "an important role" in recognising "life
threatening abuse".

Such trauma - also known as "shaken baby syndrome" is believed to be the leading cause of death among abused children.

Estimates suggest as many as 34 in every 100,000 infants under the age of one fall victim to AHT but experts believe many cases are missed.

Cardiff University's test, detailed in a paper published on Monday, applies to head injuries suffered by children aged two and under.

Prof Alison Kemp of Cardiff University said: "This study offers an evidence-based clinical prediction tool to help doctors make these extremely important decisions, where the life or death of a child often hangs in the balance."

The checklist also includes the presence of long-bone fractures, suspended breathing and head or neck bruising.

If doctors identify three or more of the six items on the list and there is no clear accidental trigger, then abuse is a "very likely cause", according to researchers.

However, further investigation by clinicians and child protection professionals is required before AHT can be confirmed.

ANON Jul 26th, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

1/2...Abused Boys 'Playthings For Powerful People'…

A survivor of the Kincora Children's home has told Sky News he believes paperwork in Westminster will show Government complicity in child abuse in Northern Ireland.

Clint Massey, 57, was a teenager when he was moved into the now notorious home in east Belfast.

He suffered at the hands of staff at the home but also saw the many mysterious English men with posh accents who were regular visitors to the building.

Allegations have existed for years that senior figures within the security services, British military and other VIPs had free reign to sexually abuse children at the home in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mr Massey told Sky News: "I see it as one of the most shameful episodes in Northern Ireland's history. Nobody should think otherwise."

"Young boys from troubled backgrounds who were just put in there to be playthings for powerful people, somebody has to answer for that."

The Kincora home was named in the latest paperwork released from Westminster that shows there were Government files held on the institution and further letters concerning key figures within Northern Ireland at the time.

All of the files are relevant to the ongoing child abuse inquiries but the contents have not yet been published.

David Cameron has said police should be able to investigate child abuse allegations against high-profile politicians "without fear or uncertainty" of how high up in Government they can go.

ANON Jul 26th, 2015 @ 11:06 AM

2/2...Mr Massey said he was convinced that paperwork will eventually show some kind of agreement or knowledge of what was going on:

He said: "There is a file somewhere with Whitehall saying 'yes go ahead'."

There have also been repeated calls for the Kincora scandal to be incorporated into the Child Abuse Inquiry for England and Wales led by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard.

Mr Massey added: "The local inquiry here in Northern Ireland doesn't have the bite to it they (Goddard) can command, they can order people to appear, they can order files to be released to them.

"If they give that lady a free hand there will be people in the House of Lords shaking in their cloaks."

Patrick Corrigan, of Amnesty International in Northern Ireland, told Sky News: "We think it’s time to end that fog that exists around Kincora and to find out were the security services involved in allowing the abuse of children for their own intelligence gathering purposes?

"That would be perhaps the dirtiest episode of a very dirty war but it’s time for the truth to finally come out."

Justice Goddard's abuse inquiry that is now underway will examine institutions in England and Wales but she has promised that if there are other relevant institutions they will be looked at.

Her inquiry is likely to run for five years.

ANON Jul 25th, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

FGM victims 'in every part of England and Wales'…

Victims of female genital mutilation are likely to be living in every area of England and Wales, a report says.

FGM victims tend to be concentrated in cities, especially London, but no local authority area is "likely to be free from FGM entirely", City University London and Equality Now found.

FGM, sometimes called female circumcision, refers to procedures including the partial or total removal of external female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is illegal in the UK.

The NHS says FGM is prevalent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and is carried out for "cultural, religious and social reasons". It can cause issues including severe pain, infections, pregnancy complications and even death.

To reach their estimates, researchers combined responses to surveys in countries where FGM is practised with 2011 UK census data about women who were born in those countries.

§ an estimated 137,000 women living in England and Wales (0.48 of the female population) were born in countries where FGM was practised and had been subject to it themselves

§ this included 103,000 women aged 15-49

§ in 2001, the estimated figure for women aged 15-49 was 66,000

§ this increase was "especially due to migration from countries in conflict"

§ women with FGM made up an estimated 1.5% of mothers giving birth in England and Wales since 2008

Mary Wandia, FGM programme manager at Equality Now, a human rights organisation, said: "We hope that policy makers at all levels - including in local authorities - urgently respond to these new estimates."

She said this response should include prevention, support for survivors and other measures to ensure work was "joined up and effective at every level".

Report author Prof Alison Macfarlane, of City University London, said: "It is important not to stigmatise women who have undergone FGM, or assume that their daughters are all at risk, as many families have given up FGM on migration and attitudes have changed in some of their countries of origin.

"On the other hand, others may have not given up FGM and it is important to safeguard their daughters."

The report does not address the issue of FGM being carried out in the UK, but separate research has estimated that 65,000 girls under the age of 13 are "at risk"

ANON Jul 25th, 2015 @ 10:52 AM

Aylesbury child sex abuse: Barnardo's raised fears in 2008…

Concerns about a girl repeatedly abused by a gang of men in Buckinghamshire were raised by a charity several years before the perpetrators were arrested, it has emerged.

Barnardo's told the BBC it had worked with the ring's two victims in 2008 and referred the case of one to the local authority and other relevant agencies.

The charity's Michelle Lee-Izu said "insufficient action" was taken.

Six men were found guilty on Friday of abuse on a "massive scale".

The Old Bailey heard the abuse in Aylesbury went on for years and involved rape and child prostitution.

The court heard evidence from both victims, who came from troubled backgrounds and were befriended by the men who gave them alcohol, DVDs, food and occasionally drugs.

While aged just 12 or 13, one of the vulnerable girls, known in the trial as A, was passed between 60 mainly Asian men for sex after being conditioned into thinking it was normal behaviour, jurors were told.

Ms Lee-Izu, a lead director for child sexual exploitation, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "In 2008, we worked with both these young people and our work with these young women was very specific to them as individuals.

"We had concerns about the safety of one young woman and we made a referral to the local authority and the relevant agencies.

"At that time the agencies didn't respond in a way that we wanted, that we expected them to, although some actions were taken by the local authority so we escalated those actions further.

"But insufficient action was taken as far as we were concerned."

ANON Jul 25th, 2015 @ 10:50 AM

2/2...Eleven defendants faced trial, accused of 47 sexual offences between 2006 and 2012 following an investigation launched in 2013.

Four were cleared of any wrongdoing, while the jury could not reach a verdict on one of the men.

The six who have been convicted will be sentenced in September.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, David Johnston, director for children's services at Buckinghamshire County Council since 2014, said a review of the concerns raised by Barnardo's would be carried out to discover what happened and what action was taken.

He said: "Workers at the time missed a number of opportunities to perhaps protect them [the girls] or to provide other services for them.

Having said that, we know a great deal more about child sexual exploitation and grooming now than we did back then.

"Over the time I have been in the post, we have reviewed a lot of practices."

He added: "Today, evidence of unhappiness shown by behaviour such as school homework standards falling and running away instead of being monitored as in the past, it is now investigated for motivation.

"More specialists are now working with local authorities and the police to build up knowledge of child exploitation to protect young people and those working with them."

On Friday, Mr Johnston apologised on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council for "letting [the girls} down during this period in their lives".

He said: "We know a great deal more about child sexual exploitation than we did back then and I hope that young people who are worried about themselves or someone they know will have the same courage to come forward.

We will do everything in our power to help them.

ANON Jul 25th, 2015 @ 10:47 AM

UK child abuse inquiry must look at Kincora…

The Kincora sex scandal has been in the public domain for almost 40 years and still the young boys who were abused there have been denied full justice.

No one still believes that the three staff members at the east Belfast home who were jailed in 1981 for crimes against 11 youngsters were the only abusers.

In fact, they might now be viewed as the scapegoats for a much wider paedophile ring that reaches into the higher echelons of the British Establishment.

Recently released papers from the Home Office show that allegations by a former intelligence officer who served in Northern Ireland that the Kincora scandal had been hushed up by the intelligence services of the time had been known and noted at the very heart of the Westminster Government.

The papers also mention by name Sir Maurice Oldfield, head of both MI5 and MI6 security agencies, who a boy abused at the home now says he remembers meeting there.

Others mentioned in the papers include two former Government ministers, a former civil servant and a former diplomat.

Other allegations which have surfaced recently include claims that boys were taken from the home to residences in England where they were abused before being flown back to Northern Ireland.

All these allegations have yet to be tested, never mind proved, but such is the persistence of the claims and the range of people making them, there is no doubt that they must be thoroughly examined.

It is unpardonable that the boys who were abused at the home are still in something of a legal limbo as regards obtaining justice .

Given the range of the allegations, it would seem that the inquiry into historic child abuse in the UK headed by Justice Lowell Goddard is the best forum to investigate the claims. It has the power to compel witnesses from within the Establishment and its agencies to appear before it.

The fact that Government ministers including Home Secretary Theresa May and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers have both refused to allow the Kincora scandal to be included in the UK probe only heightens public disquiet about the whole issue.

That is not to doubt that the local Historical Abuse Inquiry headed by Sir Anthony Hart will conduct a thorough probe, but it is hampered by its restricted powers.

The Government must change its decision.

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:33 PM

1/2...Garda ‘failed in duty’ to properly handle Cloyne abuse claims…

Gsoc says taking action against two members would be moot, as both now retired
An Garda Síochána failed in its duty to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse made by two women against a priest in the Cloyne diocese, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) has found.

The allegations were made in the mid 1990s and related to incidents that occurred in the late 1960s.

Gsoc said it decided taking action against the relevant gardaí was “moot” as they are now retired and no longer amenable to the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations for Neglect of Duty.

The finding relates to the Cloyne report, published in July 2011, which investigated the handling of clerical child sexual abuse allegations there by church and State authorities. Chapter 10 indicated that Gardaí had not acted on information they had in relation to allegations of sexual abuse by a Cloyne priest.

The Gsoc investigation into this, beginning in March 2012, set out to establish whether it might involve an offence by Gardaí or if it would justify disciplinary proceedings.

The Cloyne report provided pseudonyms for the victims, Nia and Oifa, respectively, and the priest as Fr Corin. In Nia’s case, despite her complaint of alleged sexual abuse being referred by Cloyne diocese to Macroom Garda station in 1996, “no investigation was directed, or conducted, by the receiving Garda.”

Oifa made similar allegations concerning the priest to gardaí at Henry Street in Limerick, but there was no further action. Her statement was taken by a female Garda at the request of a colleague, since retired.

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

2/2...Lack of adherence…

Gsoc found that in both cases “no formal garda investigations took place” and this was “mostly the result of a lack of adherence to procedures and processes. There were also lapses in the creation and proper retention of documents.”

While there was no evidence in either case that what “may have constituted a criminal offence” on the part of relevant Gardaí took place, “some actions may have justified disciplinary proceedings”.

In the Macroom case it was clear “that the then District Officer was the recipient of a complaint of historical child sexual abuse” and that he “did not ensure a formal investigation of the complaints referred to him.

“His actions may have amounted to a Neglect of Duty under the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations. However, as he is retired, he is no longer subject to such regulations,” Gsoc said.

In the Limerick case it found “the Garda at Henry Street who requested his female colleague to take a statement may have committed an act, contrary to the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations, amounting to a Neglect of Duty.

“The evidence showed that a crime was reported to him but he did not report that crime formally to his superiors. However, as he is retired, he is no longer subject to such regulations.”

It found the female Garda was still serving but that “our investigation does not reveal any evidence that she acted contrary to the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations.”

In general Gsoc concluded “there were failures of systems and individuals.”

The fact the existence of the allegations was known to different Gardaí at Marcoom and Henry Street in Limerick, and that they were not investigated fully, “indicates that the Garda Síochána as an organisation failed in its duty.”

It concluded that updated recommendations by the Garda Inspectorate on handling such cases, “if followed, should mitigate the risk of a repeat of this unsatisfactory set of circumstances.”

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:27 PM

1/2...Theresa Villiers rejects Kincora abuse inquiry request….

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has again rejected calls to include Kincora boys’ home in an inquiry into an alleged paedophile ring at Westminster, despite new British cabinet papers being uncovered concerning the Belfast institute.

Ms Villiers said the discovery of the papers would not persuade the British government to reconsider the decision to exclude the issue of child sex abuse at Kincora from theWestminster inquiry being conducted by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard.

Kincora forms part of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart.

Amnesty and Northern Ireland political parties want Kincora included in the Goddard inquiry, claiming that the HIA does not have the power to compel the release of files from either the British government or the British secret services.

There have been longstanding allegations that MI5 and the British ministry of defence were complicit in covering up the abuse of boys at Kincora in east Belfast during the 1970s.

It has been claimed that senior members of the British military, politicians and civil servants who allegedly abused boys at Kincora were effectively blackmailed by the British intelligence services.

In 1981, three senior members of staff were jailed for abusing 11 boys in their care at the east Belfast home.

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:26 PM

2/2...Amnesty call…

Amnesty repeated its call for the Goddard inquiry to incorporate Kincora after new British government files relating to the home were discovered.

Amnesty’s Northern Ireland programme director Patrick Corrigan said the new files would only “fuel public disquiet that Kincora has been excluded from the one inquiry which has a chance of getting at the truth”.

“Nothing less than a full public inquiry with all the powers of compulsion which that brings can finally reveal what happened at Kincora,” he said.

Ms Villiers said the place to examine Kincora was at the HIA inquiry. “The Hart inquiry is doing an exceptionally good job.

“We feel that is the right forum to investigate these despicable events which took place at Kincora,” she said.

The papers discovered included a file about former Northern Ireland minister and Conservative MP Sir William Van Straubenzee, which also “contained references to the Kincora boys’ home”.

The British cabinet office also said that, separate to Kincora, the papers contain references to former cabinet minister Leon Brittan; Peter Morrison, an aide to Margaret Thatcher; and ex-diplomat and former deputy director of MI6, Sir Peter Hayman.

It also emerged from the documents that Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government was warned that an MP had a “penchant for small boys” and that this risked causing it political embarrassment.

The uncovered files show that former MI5 director general Sir Antony Duff wrote to the then cabinet secretary Sir Robert Armstrong in 1986 over claims made by two sources about the MP.

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

1/2...MI5 warned Thatcher over abuse allegations against MP..

Newly uncovered documents contains references to Kincora home in Northern Ireland

Senior British intelligence officers warned the Thatcher government that allegations an MP had a “penchant for small boys” risked causing it political embarrassment, newly uncovered documents have revealed.

Child abuse investigators found no consideration had been given to the threat to children the politician posed but MI5 warned senior officials the accusations could be damaging for the administration.

The files show former MI5 director general Sir Antony Duff wrote to the then British cabinet secretary Sir Robert Armstrong in 1986 over claims made by two sources about the MP.

An assessment of the documents by Peter Wanless, head of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), and Richard Whittam QC, who carried out an inquiry into the handling of historical allegations that prominent figures were child abusers, said: “There were a number of references across the papers we saw that reinforced the observation we made in our review that issues of crimes against children, particularly the rights of the complainant, were given considerably less serious consideration than would be expected today.

“To give one striking example, in response to claims from two sources that a named member of parliament “has a penchant for small boys” matters conclude with acceptance of his word that he does not and the observation that ‘at the present stage the risks of political embarrassment to the Government is rather greater than the security danger’.

The risk to children is not considered at all.”

In a document published on the Government’s website, the Home Office said a fresh search of the archives had been carried out after a file emerged earlier this year that should have been submitted to the Wanless and Whittam inquiry.

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:20 PM

2/2...Former cabinet minister Leon Brittan, Peter Morrison, who was an aide to Margaret Thatcher, ex-diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and former minister William van Straubenzee were named in other top secret files uncovered following the review.

One of the files relating to Sir Hayman was held by the Cabinet Office but “overlooked” during a previous trawl for information.

Documents that refer to Mr Straubenzee had been earmarked for destruction but National Archives officials flagged them up to the government.

A group of papers that name Mr Morrison, Mr Brittan, Sir Peter and Mr Straubenzee as well as contain references to the Kincora children’s home in

Northern Ireland where boys were abused were “found in a separate Cabinet Office store of assorted and unstructured papers”.

Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam reported last year they had found no evidence that records were deliberately removed or destroyed.

After examining the latest batch of documents, they said they “found nothing to cause us to alter the conclusions drawn or recommendations made in our review”.

But they warned the emergence of papers after the review had been completed was not “helpful” in giving the public confidence in the process.

They said the latest discovery, which came to light earlier this year, showed the need for a broader search of documents “unconstrained by what the Home Office in particular might or might not have known”.

New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard, who is heading an inquiry into historical child sex abuse, is set to start again from scratch.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “This is a clear illustration, as the original review revealed, of the misplaced priorities of those operating at highest levels of government, where people simply weren’t thinking about crimes against children and the consequences of those crimes in the way that we would expect them to.

It reiterates the need for an inquiry that will explore this in depth.”

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:18 PM

1/2...Kincora whistleblower Richard Kerr has claimed that he met one of Britain's most senior spymasters in the notorious home where children were abused…

He left Northern Ireland under a cloud of sexual innuendo two years later.

A closet homosexual, he was accused of making a pass at a man in the bar of the Old Crow Inn in Comber, but no charges were ever brought and his friends said it was black propaganda by intelligence rivals while the police denied dealing with any complaint.

Mr Kerr says he was never abused by Sir Maurice, but linking him to Kincora will add fuel to the rumours that intelligence knew of the scandal and hushed it up because the abusers were giving information to the intelligence services.

Two former military intelligence officers, Colin Wallace and Brian Gemmell, told how they had tried to expose the scandal but were warned off by a named MI5 officer.

On Wednesday Sir Maurice, the basis of the character of George Smiley in John Le Carre's classic spy novels, was named in papers handed over by Number 10 to Sir

Anthony Hart's inquiry into institutional child abuse here.

The latest revelations will add to pressure for the inquiry to be combined with the Goddard probe in London, which has more powers to subpoena intelligence witnesses.

The papers deal with Mr Wallace's allegations and name other people including former ministers William van Straubenzee and Leon Brittan as well as civil servants Peter Hayman and Peter Morris.

Sir Maurice was a former head of both MI5, the Security Service and, until 1978, MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, which organises British agents for use abroad.

He died of cancer in 1981.

His period in Northern Ireland corresponded with a turf war between the two agencies.

A former SIS officer said "it more or less ended in 1979 when Maurice handed over control of agents to MI5 and the police".

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:15 PM

2/2...Mr Kerr was in Kincora from 1975 at the age of 14. The boys care home was the subject of a high-profile child sex abuse scandal in the 1980s.

Three senior staff were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys in their care. Those convicted were the warden Joseph Mains, his assistant Raymond Semple, and Kincora's housefather William McGrath.

Earlier this year, Mr Kerr told the Belfast Telegraph that, while a resident at Kincora, he was once sent home from school early because the heating wasn't working.

When he went into the office he found Mr Mains, his principal abuser, and Semple in a meeting with other men.

It struck him that they might be government officials because some were well-dressed and spoke with English accents.

In April he told us that he had recognised one of the men as Mr Oldfield after studying photographs.

"It seemed like a meeting, they were annoyed I had walked in on it. Mr Mains sent me upstairs," he said.

It is now known that notorious paedophile McGrath was an intelligence agent and that a paramilitary group he set up, Tara, was a front for intelligence gathering on loyalism.

He had first come in contact with MI5 when smuggling bibles into the Soviet Union in the 1950s.

He also operated an Orange Lodge, now defunct, called Ireland's Heritage.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers insisted the inquiry should not be moved to England despite the mounting pressure from Amnesty International and all the Executive parties.

She said: "Like everyone else we want to ensure that the truth is discovered, that these events are fully investigated and we believe that the Hart inquiry is the best forum to do that."

ANON Jul 24th, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

Copy and Paste...http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/newton-kincoras-exclusion-from-ukwide-child-abuse-inquiry-unforgivable-31401367.html

ANON Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 01:35 PM

1/3...GSOC finds Garda failings in handling abuse claims…

A report by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission into the handling by Gardaí of allegations of child sexual abuse, which were raised in the Cloyne Report in 2011, has found evidence of failures on the part of the Gardaí.

However, the GSOC report says no offences appear to have been committed by Gardaí, and it is not recommending any disciplinary action.

The Commission of Investigation Report into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne in 2011 outlined evidence given to the inquiry which indicated that Gardaí did not act on information received in relation to complaints of sexual abuse in the diocese.

GSOC launched a public interest investigation in March 2012 to establish whether these matters may have constituted an offence by members of the Gardaí or whether they justified disciplinary proceedings.

The GSOC investigation focused on the handling of allegations made by two victims in relation to one priest.

GSOC has said its investigation found some possible explanations as to why formal investigations were not conducted by Gardaí into serious allegations of sexual abuse.

However, it said while evidence suggests some failures on the part of the Gardaí, no offences appear to have been committed and no disciplinary proceedings were being recommended.

ANON Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 01:32 PM

2/3...The GSOC investigation examined whether or not a proper investigation took place in the case of two victims who made allegations of sexual abuse in relation to the same priest.

The victims were given the pseudonyms Nia and Oifa in the Cloyne Report, and the priest was given the pseudonym Fr Corin.

The Cloyne Report outlined that in 1994 and 1996 Nia made allegations to a Catholic bishop regarding sexual abuse by Fr Corin in the late 1960s.

The claims were referred to Macroom Garda Station in Cork, but no further action was taken.

The then District Officer of Macroom Garda Station acknowledged receipt of a report of historical child sexual abuse, but did not direct a crime investigation.

The GSOC report said he contended that he assumed an investigation had commenced, but its investigation has shown that that assumption was unfounded.

A second victim, Oifa, made very similar allegations relating to the same priest to the Mid Western Health Board.

Gardaí from Henry Street in Limerick took a statement from her but there was no further action.

The GSOC report found its investigation and the Cloyne commission evidence both showed that a Health Board notification form was issued by the Mid Western Health Board and was later in the possession of the Southern Health Board.

However, the Health Board notification was unsigned and no evidence exists that it was actually sent to its intended recipient, the then Superintendent at Henry Street Garda Station.

ANON Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 01:30 PM

3/3...The GSOC report found there was a lack of a policy on the part of the Health Board in addressing historical child sexual abuse allegations and, notably, no policy in relation to notifying the Garda Síochána.

The then District Officer at Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick was unaware of the allegations and a formal investigation was not conducted by Henry Street Gardaí.

The GSOC report found a statement was reportedly taken from the victims, but this cannot now be located and there is some dispute as to the motivation and authority for it being taken in the first place.

The GSOC report states that it is understood the victim was related by marriage to a Garda who requested a colleague to take the statement, however this action was not part of a formal investigation.

The GSOC report said the statement cannot be located by any of those involved, and that these matters remain unsatisfactorily unresolved.

The report states that there were failures of systems and individuals in relation to the handling of the allegations.

The report found that existence of these allegations was known to different individual Gardaí in Macroom in Co Cork and in Henry Street in Limerick.

It said that the fact that these allegations were known to gardaí and not investigated formally indicates that the Garda Síochána as an organisation failed in its duty.

The report found that while there was evidence to suggest two officers may have been in breach of the Garda Síochána (Discipline) Regulations for Neglect of Duty, both are now retired and therefore no longer amenable to these.

GSOC cannot make findings of fact in relation to a breach of the regulations, but can make recommendations to the Garda Commissioner on disciplinary proceedings.

However the GSOC report found that due to the retirement of those concerned, these recommendations are moot.

ANON Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 11:55 AM

1/2...An MI5 letter warning of the risk of "political embarrassment" from child sexual abuse claims has been found…..

A 1986 note by then head of MI5, Sir Anthony Duff - followed warnings an MP had a "penchant for small boys".

The newly uncovered material, found in a