July Comments 2016

ANON Jul 29th, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

1/2...Joint action will seek damages for victims of sex abuse in schools…

A group of solicitors from around the country are coming together to win damages against the State, for people sexually abused in Irish primary schools.

They will represent a group of 75 survivors who were abused as children in Irish primary schools.

This action comes on foot of a High Court ruling in May, when five victims were refused the right to sue the Department of Education and the State for failing to protect them as children.

“We are going to appeal this and we are also in discussion with many lawyers throughout the country, with a view for all people affected by this judgement, to appeal it.

“We are not criticising the judge but it’s the vindication of our clients’ rights that we have in mind,” David Coleman of Coleman Legal Partners told the Irish Examiner yesterday.

This case could see a repeat of the landmark European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling in 2014 in favour of Cork woman Louise O’Keeffe.

Ms O’Keeffe was abused by school principal Leo Hickey while she was an eight-year-old pupil at Dunderrow NS in Kinsale in 1973.

Ms O’Keeffe went as far as the ECHR to seek justice, arguing that the State was liable, as the Department of Education had failed to put in place appropriate protection measures.

The ECHR found that the State was in breach of its obligation to protect schoolchildren from sexual abuse and to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

“If necessary we will find ourselves in Europe, so be it, but it is wrong to put these people through this ringer when there’s a simple solution that can be had,” said Mr Coleman.

ANON Jul 29th, 2016 @ 11:50 AM

2/2...One of his clients, Cork man John Allen, 53, was in the High Court yesterday to hear whether the State was going to pursue him for costs in relation to the May ruling.

Lawyers for the State said they were not seeking costs.

When Ms O’Keeffe lost her case in the Irish Supreme Court in 2008, the State Claims Agency wrote to all similar victims asking them to cease litigation or else face being pursued for hundreds of thousands of euro in legal fees.

Mr Allen was one of these victims who signed a ‘notice of discontinuance’ to cease litigation.

However, when Ms O’Keeffe won in Europe, Mr Allen and four other victims tried to have their notices of discontinuance set aside. They failed in this attempt in May.

“There are other areas that people can deal with this in a satisfactory manner and I would ask that the State engage with the finite number of people, who are old in years,” said Mr Coleman.

“They’ve been at this case for years, seeking to vindicate their rights.”

Speaking to the Irish Examiner yesterday, Ms O’Keeffe praised the survivors and solicitors for their joint action.

“I commend them,” she said. “I believe they shouldn’t have to do it because the judgment from Europe is there.

“The State did not have a system in place [to protect children in primary schools] and that’s why we were abused. In the Ryan Report [The Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, published in May 2009], it says the State were aware that abuse was happening in our primary schools from the 1940s.”

Benson Jul 29th, 2016 @ 09:45 AM

IT was a cruel game played out by vile abusers in an idyllic valley which will be revealed as the nation’s “epicentre for organised paedophilia”.

The game of “spotlighting”, ostensibly a weekend camping pursuit by young Anglican boys and their religious leaders was actually a guise for child sexual abuse.

Revelations of how Anglican priests and their paedophile gang chased boys and raped them in the wilds of the Hunter Valley will unfold in coming weeks.

And the Hunter Valley, known for its vineyards, its coal industry and its fertile soil for crops, will emerge as something more sinister.

This valley of the damned is now being recognised as a playground for not only priests from the Catholic Church practising systematic abuse, but their Anglican counterparts.

It is the Anglican Church’s turn to be exposed for its widespread practice of grooming and sexually assaulting young Hunter Valley boys.

Incredibly, both churches were secretly committing the same sorts of vile abuse at the same time in the same region.

The abuse occurred behind the doors of two of the Hunter Valley’s most respected establishments between 20 and 40 years ago, St John's College in Morpeth, the seminary for the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and the Catholic Diocese of Maitland and Newcastle.

The crimes of the Hunter Valley’s Catholic abusers such as Father Vince Ryan and Father Jim Fletcher and Father David O’Hearn, and the cover-up by the Catholic hierarchy were described in sickening detail two years ago.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 01:14 PM

1/2...Irish priest probes elderly women involved in financial scandal in Argentina…

An Irish priest has been given a key role in an investigation into an astonishing corruption scandal that has convulsed Argentina for the past month.

Father Tom O’Donnell, 64, a native of Templeglantine, Co. Limerick, has been tasked to find out if a group of elderly religious women aided and abetted a former government minister who threw almost $9 million in cash and jewelry in bags over their convent wall.

The group of four women, one aged 94, are called nuns and they live in Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima Convent about 35 miles from Buenos Aires.

Despite them being referred to generally as nuns, Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo, president of the local bishop’s conference, said in a recent interview that they are not nuns.

The small religious order was founded, however, by Archbishop Ruben Di Monte, who lived at the convent during his retirement until he died in April.

Di Monte was friends with Jose Lopez, who was former minister of public works in a government headed by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, whose eight-year presidency ended last December.

Former minister Lopez is the man accused of throwing the bags of jewelry and cash, including U.S. dollars, into the convent.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 01:10 PM

2/2...When he was arrested there, following an alert by a neighbour about the suspicious activity, a .22 caliber rifle was found by police in the back of his car.

He has already appeared in court wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet and he is due to re-appear next Monday along with two of the women who wear religious habits.

O’Donnell, a Pallotine missionary who has been in Argentina since 1978 and is parish priest in Mercedes, outside Buenos Aires, has been ordered by the Catholic Church to lead an investigation.

He told The Irish Times that his investigation team had a narrow focus on how the nuns at the convent came to be embroiled in the affair.

He told RTE in another interview that his investigation would attempt to establish whether the “nuns” were aware of what was happening or if they were “being used” by Lopez.

The priest said Lopez’s wife phoned the convent to say he would be coming later with bags.

O’Donnell added, “Now, according to the nuns, they weren’t sure if they were food items or what they were but he didn’t turn up until late in the morning.

“It’s a canonical investigation. Now, did they commit a crime, these old nuns? These nuns, of course, have their statutes and their constitutions. It’s only a new congregation, but they still have fundamental law, statutes and their constitutions.

Our investigation is to find out if they comply with these promises of obedience, poverty.”

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 01:08 PM

Mother and baby homes commission granted extension…

The Government has acceded to a request from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes for more time to complete its reports on foot of an unexpectedly large number of witnesses seeking to give testimony.

However, the decision is likely to fuel further anxiety among the ageing group of survivors who have seen many of their peers pass away.

It has also caused anger among the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivor groups, including survivors of illegal adoptions, for failure to extend the commission’s probe beyond the 18 institutions currently under scrutiny.

Last night Paul Redmond, spokesperson for CMABS, told RTÉ that it was a “slap in the face”, and that they were “devastated” and “deeply insulted”.

Mr Redmond was part of a group of protestors that picketed the commission’s offices last week seeking a broader investigation.

Yesterday, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said she “accepted” that the time extension granted to the commission would cause disappointment, but the reason for it would be communicated to representative groups whom she said she will meet with in September.

She said the new timeline will not delay Government response to the commission findings.

In a statement, Ms Zappone said: “The extension is to accommodate the large number of witnesses coming forward and to ensure that all new information discovered is accurately recorded to give a full understanding of the social history involved.”

A second reason for the extension was due to fears a social history report would have “no long-term value” if it was based only on reviewing existing published literature.

The interim report issued yesterday by the commission was solely to request a time extension. All three reports that the commission is working on will now be published simultaneously in February 2018.

Under its terms of reference, the commission will investigate how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 18 State-linked religious institutions.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 01:04 PM

Ex-army chief who abused young sisters jailed for four years…

A stepdad who sexually abused two young sisters has been sentenced to a total of four years and put on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

The 60-year-old former army chef, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his former stepdaughters, admitted charges of cruelty by way of assault and ill-treatment and indecently assaulting them both.

Downpatrick Crown Court Judge Stephen Fowler QC said the historic abuse took place between 1978 and 1980 when he was aged from 22 to 25 and the two sisters were little more than 10 and 12.

Judge Fowler, sitting in Belfast's Laganside Courthouse, said that on one occasion he beat the girls after they had stolen a sandwich because they were hungry, and on another made the elder girl sit alone for hours in the kitchen for refusing to eat her food.

The judge said that he also sexually abused the girls, one of them in her bedroom, during which he told her to 'shut-up or she would be smacked' and that it was their secret.

He abused her sister while bathing her.

Judge Fowler said that the impact on them was significant and impinged on their mental well being, leaving them suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

He added both had been vulnerable victims who were not only sexually abused, but also suffered physical abuse.

Ordering that their former stepfather serve two years imprisonment, followed by two on supervised parole, Judge Fowler, who also disqualified him from working with children and vulnerable adults, said had he fully contested the case, the sentence would have been one of five years.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 12:28 PM

Cardinal George Pell, the Australian-born Vatican treasurer, is being investigated in relation to multiple allegations of child abuse in his home country, Victoria state police said....

Victoria state Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said on a Melbourne radio station program on Thursday that Victoria police had been investigating allegations against Pell for more than a year.

"The investigation is ongoing," Ashton told Radio 3AW, confirming an Australian Broadcasting Television report on Wednesday that detailed allegations of abuse dating from the 1970s to the 1990s in interviews with alleged victims.

In a statement issued in Rome on Wednesday, Pell's office said he "refutes all the allegations made on the program".

ABC said it has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who were helping with the investigation.

The broadcaster said it received no information from police for its story.

Ashton told Radio 3AW that police had referred the allegations against Pell to the public prosecutor's office for advice on whether to prosecute.

The public prosecutor declined to comment to Reuters on Thursday.

"While the Cardinal in no way wishes to cause any harm to those making allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse against him, the simple fact is that they are wrong," the statement from Pell's office said, adding that Pell would continue to cooperate with any investigation.

The allegations "do not correspond with the George Pell I know," said Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Australia's most populous city, Anthony Fisher, in a statement.
Pell was a priest in rural Victoria in the 1970s and 1980s before he became archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 and archbishop of Sydney in 2001

He took the Vatican role in 2014.

Earlier this year, Pell testified at an Australian government inquiry into institutional child abuse, where he said the Church made "catastrophic" choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish and over relying on counselling of priests to solve the problem.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

A retired guesthouse owner has been jailed for 18 months for the sexual molestation of his 11-year-old niece when she visited from the US.

John Prior, aged 68, molested the child on two occasions in 1985 while she was on summer holidays visiting Irish relatives in Leitrim and Dublin.

Prior, of Orchard Lane, Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin, had denied five counts of indecent assault of the victim at Hartley House, Merrion Rd, on dates between July 1 and August 31, 1985.

After a trial earlier this month, a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted him of two counts but failed to reach a verdict on the three remaining charges.

On the first occasion, the girl asked to accompany her uncle to the shops to get food for guests at the bed and breakfast he owned. During the car journey to the shops,

Prior began asking the victim about sex and told her that women were sluts and were like rabbits, she told the trial.

She said he became aroused and grabbed her wrist and put her hand on the outside of his trousers. Afterwards, he told her they would have a special relationship.

On another occasion, Prior was watching a programme about a girl who had been raped when the child was present. He put his hand down her underwear and rubbed her.

The now 42-year-old victim gave evidence during the trial and was cross-examined on the basis that Prior said none of these things happened.

She was not present for the sentence hearing yesterday, where Seamus Clarke, prosecuting, read her victim impact report out.

She said she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the abuse and was hospitalised with a panic attack a year later. Detective Garda Stephen Homan told the court that Prior has no other convictions.

Judge Nolan said this was a tragic case involving assaults which have had profound effects on the victim. He said the events have led to great disharmony within the family.

The judge said that every sexual assault is a serious assault but Prior’s offences couldn’t be deemed the most serious.

John O’Kelly, defending, said his client had been a very successful business man.
He said the widower had shared his success by dividing his pension among a number of charities.

Judge Nolan said that Prior was a charitable man but he had abused his position of trust and had isolated the victim.

Mr Clarke told the court that the victim was waiving her right to anonymity.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 11:50 AM

1/3...Department of Children and Youth Affairs...

New Timeline for two Mother and Baby Home Reports will not delay Government response to Commission findings

Government decision clears way for large number of witnesses to be accommodated
Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone

At its meeting today (27/07/16) the Government agreed to a request from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission to extend the time frame for the publication of two of the three reports it is preparing.

The Commission remains committed to completing its investigations within the three year time-frame provided in the Terms of Reference.

All Reports will now be completed by February 2018.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone says the extension will not delay any Government response to the findings of the Commission.

The extension is to accommodate the large number of witnesses coming forward and to ensure that all new information discovered is accurately recorded to give a full understanding of the social history involved.

As the Interim Report being published today focuses exclusively on the request for the extension of time, the Government has asked the Commission to identify any additional matters outside of its scope which may be critical to reaching conclusions on the matters central to its remit and report back by September.

ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 11:46 AM

2/3...Announcing the Government decision the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said:

“Following today’s Government decision I am publishing by way of Interim Report the reasoning behind the request from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission for an extended time frame for the publication of two reports, namely the Report of the Confidential Committee on witness hearings and the Report of the Academic Social History.

The case put forward for the extension was convincing.

The Commission points out that the number of confidential hearings with witnesses is expected to reach 500 with 150 witnesses already meeting with the Confidential Committee to date.

The Commission has also identified a large volume of new information which is relevant to the Social History Report.

Allowing the additional time requested to conclude this research will significantly enhance our understanding of how society treated vulnerable mothers and children in these homes, and how attitudes, policy and legislation changed over the period.

I accept that the extension will cause disappointment, and I have asked that representative groups are fully informed not just about the decision but the background on which it was made.

I will make arrangements to meet representative groups in September”.


ANON Jul 28th, 2016 @ 11:44 AM

3/3...Notes to Editors:

1.The Interim Report of the Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) dated 12 July 2016.

2. Frequently Asked Questions - Government approves additional time for the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes to complete the Confidential Committee and Social History Reports

3. The Terms of Reference for the Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) are available as a Schedule to Statutory Instrument No. 57 of 2015.

4. Other related information/documentation.

The Commission can be contacted by writing to;
Commission of Investigation
No 73, Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2

Website: www.mbhcoi.ie

Email: info@mbhcoi.ie
Confidential Freephone (R.O.I. only) Tel: +1800 80 66 88 (Open 10am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm Monday to Friday). To make a confidential call to the Commission from outside of the Republic of Ireland, the number to dial is 00 353 1 6445088

ANON Jul 27th, 2016 @ 09:06 PM

1/1...Adults seeking help for childhood sex abuse…

More adults in midlife are seeking help for childhood sexual abuse, and some have never been able to talk about it before.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s incoming chief executive, Noeline Blackwell, said there was a resurgence in calls last year relating to sexual abuse.

“Some of the people who are disclosing childhood sexual abuse have never been able to talk about it and have gone through their lives with that burden,” she said.

The DRCC wants the Dáil to implement the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill when it returns in the autumn.

The legislation, given priority status when reintroduced by the Government, is aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation, child pornography, and online grooming.

“The fact that about half of the counselling and therapeutic work of the centre is with adults who have suffered abuse as children makes our call for better protection for today’s children even more urgent,” said Ms Blackwell.

“The Sexual Offences Bill that tackles internet abuse, which is still not illegal in Ireland, will give today’s children a much better chance of staying safe than they have right now.”

At the launch of the DRCC’s 2015 annual report today, head of clinical services
Angela McCarthy will give an overview of the centre’s therapy and counselling work.

“Compared with 2014, 2015 saw a resurgence in calls relating to childhood sexual abuse, with a small decrease in calls relating to adult sexual violence,” said Ms McCarthy.

“We have seen an increase in adults in midlife looking for therapy for childhood sexual abuse, often after many years of suffering and silence.”

ANON Jul 27th, 2016 @ 09:03 PM

2/2...In 21% of all incidents of childhood sexual abuse, additional violence was disclosed, predominately psychological abuse, harassment, or intimidation and physical abuse.

Ms McCarthy said a 16% increase in the number of people contacting the national 24-hour helpline for the first time last year had resulted in growing pressure for face-to-face therapy, to a point where demand exceeded available resources.

Figures released by the DRCC show that last year, almost 12,000 people contacted the organisation’s national helpline and over half were calling it for the first time about rape or sexual abuse.

Ms Blackwell said while the number of calls made to the helpline last year had been similar to 2014, they were becoming more complex.

Volunteers staffing the helpline, particularly at night and during the weekend, had noticed a sense of hopelessness, with callers also struggling to access housing and other services.

Just over half of calls were about adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, with the remainder (49%) relating to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse.

Most callers (95%) were Irish, and the remainder represented 57 other nationalities.
In 24% of all incidents of adult rape or sexual assault, there was additional violence, predominantly physical abuse, psychological abuse, and harassment or intimidation.

Among the 318 cases where the reporting status was known, 113 were reported to Gardaí, a reporting rate of 36%

ANON Jul 27th, 2016 @ 01:12 PM

1/2‘...Foster home’ abuse investigation may be expanded…

Government is to consider extending commission in ‘Grace’ case to other allegations
Minister of State for Health Finian McGrath is to bring a memo to Cabinet this morning outlining the progress made in establishing a statutory inquiry into the allegations surrounding the so-called ‘Grace’ case.

The Government is to consider expanding a commission of investigation examining abuse allegations at a “foster home” in the southeast to similar cases.

Minister of State for Health Finian McGrath will bring a memo to Cabinet this morning outlining the progress made in establishing a statutory inquiry into the allegations surrounding the so-called Grace case.

Mr McGrath will confirm he has granted senior counsel Conor Dignam an extension of time to complete his work.

Mr Dignam was tasked with outlining potential terms of reference for the commission examining allegations of abuse.

He was due to report to the Department of Health on July 22nd, but it has since been extended until August 2nd, it is understood.

“Grace”, who had severe intellectual disabilities and was non-verbal, was subjected to torture, sexual abuse and physical neglect at a foster home.

The victim had been placed in the home in 1989, and remained there until 2009 despite the fact that other foster children had been removed by 1996.

A number of other allegations of abuse in foster homes have been made in recent weeks, including a case of a woman known as Mary, who was left in a home for 18 months after abuse allegations were raised.

ANON Jul 27th, 2016 @ 01:08 PM

2/2...The Cabinet will also today be asked to amend the terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes to provide more time to gather evidence on the experiences of women who lived in the homes.

The commission was due to report by August 17th on confidential discussions with people who lived in the homes as well as on the social history of the 1922-1998 period.

The commission was set up in January 2015 following controversy over the circumstances in which the bodies of hundreds of babies were discovered in the grounds of an institution in Tuam, Co Galway.

The final report of the commission in to all aspects of the treatment of women and children in the homes, including the exercise of its responsibilities by State authorities, is due to be submitted by January 2018.

It is understood that the commission has asked Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to extend the reporting period on the confidential hearings and social history modules to coincide with its overall conclusions in 2018.

Ministers are expected to accede to the request from the commission, and its full report will then be scheduled for submission to the Government in January of 2018.

The three-member commission is composed of Judge Yvonne Murphy, historian Prof Mary Daly and legal expert Dr William Duncan. 27 July 2016

ANON Jul 25th, 2016 @ 01:04 PM

Minister defends department decision to write to school abuse victims…

The State wrote to survivors warning them to withdraw their legal actions or be pursued for costs should they lose.

The Department has been accused of intimidating victims from filing claims against the State.

Education Minister Richard Bruton told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the State wasn’t putting their interests ahead of the victims.

“I’m conscious that people suffered terrible abuse at the hands of individuals and in some cases at the responsibility of the state but we’re trying to help those people," the minister said.

"The Department has spent over a billion under the redress provisions and we’ve made ex-gratia payments in other cases.

We’re trying to make sure that people are treated in a humane way and of course respecting the law and obligations of courts.

“We’ve introduced very significant payments for people who have been victims of abuse and have fully respected the European Court of Human Rights finding, we’ve paid without admission of liability,” he said.

He said the letters didn’t come "directly" from his department and that they were sent out from the State Claims Agency but ensured that he will review them to insure “individuals are treated in a humane way and at the same time respecting the role of courts”.

ANON Jul 25th, 2016 @ 01:02 PM

1/2...Foster care inquiry terms to be approved…

Terms of reference for a commission of investigation into alleged sexual abuse of an intellectually disabled girl in a foster home are to be approved by Cabinet this week.

Super Junior Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath is to bring a memorandum to Cabinet on Wednesday to give effect to a decision by the previous government to hold the commission of inquiry into the case of ‘Grace’, after reports in the Irish Examiner.

Grace was allowed to remain in a Waterford foster home for 14 years after the then health board stopped referring people to it, after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr McGrath confirmed it is his intention to bring the memo to Cabinet, to formally approve the terms of reference.

He is awaiting receipt of a scoping report into the allegations from senior counsel Conor Dignam, who has formulated the terms of the pending inquiry.

“I am waiting for Conor Dignam who will come back with the terms of reference which I then have to bring to Cabinet,” he said.

“Then I go to Oireachtas, seeking sanction to formally establish the commission of inquiry. It is my firm intention to have it set up by the autumn,” Mr McGrath said.

Mr McGrath stressed however that some of the allegations that he has come across in recent weeks, in relation to a second but similar case, are truly appalling.

He was speaking about a case involving an intellectually disabled young woman, known as Mary, who was left in a foster home until earlier this year, despite allegations of abuse first surfacing in 2014.

ANON Jul 25th, 2016 @ 12:59 PM

2/2...“I was appalled at what I saw and the allegations contained in the reports. We need to change the mindset toward people with disabilities,” he said.

“They haven’t been treated as the same as other people.

The day of treating these people as second-class citizens is over as far as I am concerned. Some of these complaints reflect an attitude toward people with disability.

I want to change the mindset around the disability,” he added.

Recently discovered records, obtained by RTÉ’s This Week programme, showed that Mary was left in a foster home for 18 months after abuse allegations were raised about a carer there.

According to minutes of an internal meeting in September 2014, the teenager’s local HSE disability service concluded that the intellectually disabled 19-year-old should be removed from the foster care setting at the centre of the sexual abuse allegations.
In previous statements in May, the HSE said it took action to make Mary safe in February 2016 within a week of its safeguarding team being notified of a risk of abuse.

However, the new HSE files, show its disability services were aware of the risk to the woman 18 months earlier. It is understood that the abuse allegations were made against one of the foster parents by a member of their extended family who also contacted Tusla.

There are no allegations of abuse of any foster children in the home.

The allegations were first raised by Tusla with Mary’s service provider and the HSE in June and July 2014.
A senior manager in Tusla told the HSE in February 2016 that “with hindsight this advice (to leave her in the home) was incorrect”

ANON Jul 24th, 2016 @ 11:24 AM

Please Copy and Paste..."To Live in Terror and Fear"....http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/i-dont-have-to-be-afraid-of-him-brave-victim-who-snared-evil-cooke-haunted-by-little-girl-i-couldnt-save-34907175.html....

ANON Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 03:56 PM

Woman awarded more than €250,000 over abuse by uncle...

A woman sexually abused as a child by her uncle has been awarded €253,000 damages by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the woman was sexually assaulted between 1977 and 1985 when she was aged seven to 15.

Her uncle, who is eight years older than her, was in a position of trust in the family, the judge said.

Given the “awful” and “horrific” nature of the assaults, the judge said he was awarding €200,000 general damages for past pain and suffering, €50,000 for pain and suffering into the future and €3,000 towards medical and counselling bills.

Guilty plea...

The man pleaded guilty before the Circuit Court three years ago to 22 counts of abuse and was sentenced to six years imprisonment. Half of that term was suspended.

Earlier this year, judgment was granted against the man in default of defence and the case was before Mr Justice Cross yesterday for assessment of damages only.

John Shortt SC, for the woman, now aged in her 40s and a mother of three, said she wanted to remain anonymous.

Counsel said both the woman and her uncle had lived in her grandparents’ house.

He said the sexual assaults were persistent and systematic and adverse remarks were constantly made to the victim.

In his decision, Mr Justice Cross said the woman was entitled to damages and to be compensated for a long period of assault. In his years as a barrister and a judge, he had seen what happened to people who had experienced abuse, the judge said.

It was to the woman’s credit she had been able to get on with her life and raise her children and had not “buckled”.

She had not told anyone until the man came back into her life and she was concerned for her own children, he also noted.

Mr Justice Cross wished the woman well for the future. Sat 23 July 2016



ANON Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 03:43 PM

1/2..Former teachers guilty of abusing boys at Fife residential school...

The headmaster and teacher of a former Fife school have been convicted of physical and sexual abuse against six pupils more than 30 years ago.

John Farrell, 73, of Motherwell, was found guilty of four charges and Paul Kelly, 64, of Plymouth, was convicted of seven charges.

They abused boys aged between 11 and 15 at St Ninian's in Falkland, a school for children from troubled backgrounds.

It was run by the Christian Brothers organisation and closed in 1983.

Farrell and Kelly, who both denied all charges, were remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

Judge Lord Matthews said the men had been convicted of "very serious matters".

The pair, who were found guilty after a 13-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, were both placed on the sex offenders register.

Sexual abuse...

The jury acquitted Farrell of 18 charges relating to the case, while Kelly was acquitted of 22 charges.

Farrell, who was the headmaster, was convicted of physically abusing one boy and sexually abusing three others.

Kelly was found guilty of sexually abusing two boys and sexually and physically abusing a third.

One of the victims was sexually abused by both men on different occasions.
The victims were abused between 1979 and 1983, when they were aged between 11 and 15.

The abuse was uncovered due to the tenacity of one victim, who sparked an investigation after he made a formal complaint to the Archdiocese in 2013.

That inquiry uncovered many more complainers.

During the trial, the court heard that Kelly's bedroom was described as an "open area" where pupils often spent the night.

Boys said they were told by Kelly they were being abused for their "sexual education".

ANON Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 03:39 PM

2/2'...The way it was'...

In his evidence, Kelly said he had "never sexually molested anyone" and claimed that he spent his free time reading Tolkein.

Prosecutor Kath Harper later asked him: "Did you really think having boys sleep in your room would be approved of in general terms?"

Kelly: "No, but at St Ninian's I just thought of it as the way it was."

Farrell initially moved to England when St Ninian's closed, but soon returned to Scotland where he was ordained as a priest. He retired from the priesthood in 2012.

He denied being a child abuser and insisted that he had stuck to a vow of celibacy made when he joined the Christian Brothers.

Three other men linked to St Ninian's - ex-social worker Michael Murphy, 75; Edward Egan, 76; and William Don, 62 - had also faced abuse allegations, but these were thrown out during the trial.

Betrayed trust...
Prosecutors had originally listed more than 100 charges involving 35 boys.
Ch Insp Nicola Shepherd, of Police Scotland, said: "For a number of years these men, who were placed in a position of trust, carried out prolonged abuse on a significant number of vulnerable young people.

"They betrayed that trust in the most despicable manner possible and subjected their victims to years of suffering.

"It is thanks to the courage of those who came forward to provide us with vital information that we were able to bring Farrell and Kelly to justice for their crimes."

An NSPCC Scotland spokesman said: "Abuse can ruin childhoods and Kelly and Farrell exploited their positions of trust to cynically target vulnerable children.

"As a result of the enormous bravery of the victims in speaking out these men won't be able to hurt any more children."

ANON Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 01:54 PM

1/2...Abuse survivors warned over legal actions…

Lawyers representing the Department of Education and the State have written to people who were sexually abused in schools as children warning them to withdraw legal cases against it or potentially face significant costs.

The letters cite recent High Court judgments which found that a European Court of Human Rights ruling of State liability in the Louise O'Keeffe case was not applicable in other actions currently before the courts.

The letters say the State parties are prepared to bear their own costs in proceedings to date, but only on the strict condition that the cases are withdrawn within 21 days.

Ms O’Keeffe, a survivor of child sexual abuse, lost her case against the State in the Irish courts in 2009.

Afterwards, the State wrote to other survivors warning them to withdraw their legal actions or be pursued for costs should they lose.

After this warning the majority abandoned their cases.

But Ms O'Keeffe went on to be vindicated by the European Court of Human Rights.

Two years ago it found that the State was liable for what she had suffered in school and that ruling encouraged others to once again pursue cases against the State.

But the High Court has recently ruled against some of them, saying that the Strasbourg judgment, although binding on Ireland, is not applicable in the High Court.

The State has now written again, however this time the warning is not explicit but it is implied.

The letter states that if cases are withdrawn within 21 days then the State will bear its own costs.

ANON Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 01:51 PM

2/2...Otherwise, it says, the State parties reserve their right "in full" to seek to "bring finality" to the matter.

Ms O'Keeffe told RTÉ News that the State was doing "the exact same thing again".

"It is obviously implied", she said, "that if you don't withdraw your case then we will come after you for costs".

Two years ago, responding to the European Court ruling, the Department of Education said in a statement that the abuse Ms O'Keeffe and others were subjected to was "a source of national shame".

The statement said "it has taught us lessons that we as a country must never forget".

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said the State had tried to improve protection for people and deal with them in as humane a way as possible.

Mr Bruton said there were cases recently which had rejected by the High Court and the courts and legal process had to be respected.

He said the State was offering an opportunity to bring these matters to a close so there would not be costs borne by people pursuing such cases.

Mr Bruton said he will keep a "close eye on these developments".

He said the State provides an ex-gratia payment so people do not have to go through a complicated legal process if they fall under the terms of reference in a redress scheme.

When asked about those who do not fall under the terms of reference, the Minister said the courts have to decide where liability falls. Friday 22 July 2016

ANON Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 01:48 PM

1/2...Hiqa finds failure to act for at-risk children…

Serious risks to children remained at a Tusla Midlands service a year after it was excoriated for not knowing if it had acted on 900 cases of at-risk children notified to it by Gardaí.

The ongoing risks were identified in January and March this year by inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) and included:

:: Failure to allocate a social worker to a number of high priority cases, including adult retrospective cases which were known to the department for a number of years;

:: One duty team was run predominantly by agency staff with less than two years experience and no direct line manager;Just one of 27 standards assessed was met;

:: One in five of 53 cases sampled was escalated by Hiqa for review due to lack of timely or appropriate action by Tusla.

Hiqa had been due to carry out the inspection in April 2015 but deferred it until January this year after Tusla reported 932 notifications of suspected abuse or welfare concerns made to the Laois/Offaly area during 2007-2013 by Gardaí where it was not known if the welfare of the children had been assessed by social workers.

Most of these cases have since been dealt with.

Data given to Hiqa showed 1,100 out of 4,439 referrals received in the 12 months prior to inspection were not screened within the service’s own timeframes.

Screening involves the social worker establishing if the referral is appropriate to the service. Of 2,997 referrals which required an initial assessment, less than half (41%) were completed in the 12 months prior to inspection.

Further data showed that in the three months prior to the January inspection there were 435 cases awaiting allocation to a social worker.

ANON Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 01:42 PM

2/2...On a positive note, Hiqa found that overall, once children were allocated to social workers, the majority got an adequate, and, if at serious risk, timely service.

“However, there were children and adults of concern that were awaiting the allocation of a social worker, mainly at the duty intake stage of the service.

This meant some risks to children could not be identified and assessed for long periods of time and this potentially placed them at risk,” inspectors said.

They also found that there was no consistent system in place to review, manage, and implement the findings of serious incident reviews.

Five children had died who had varying levels of involvement with the service in the previous 24 months but some staff were unaware of child deaths or their review. Inspectors also identified “unmanageable caseloads” with some social workers dealing with an excess of 60 cases, while others dealt with 20.

Inspectors found significant delays assessing risks in relation to retrospective abuse.

An internal audit in November 2015 had identified three retrospective cases as requiring the immediate intervention of a social worker, but this had not occurred by January 2016. The area inspected covered the counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford, and Westmeath.

In a comprehensive response to the report’s findings, Tusla said yesterday that “significant progress has been made throughout the child protection and welfare services over the last 12 months” while conceding there was still room for improvement.

Jim Gibson, chief operations officer, said a range of measures have been implemented, “including strengthening the management structure, allocating additional staff to reduce backlogs and activating a robust action plan to address key areas for improvement”.

Specific improvements include a new tracking system for Garda notifications and acknowledgements and the setting up of a governance group for adult retrospective abuse. Friday 22 July 2016

ANON Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 01:39 PM

1/2...Gareth Vincent Hall withdraws US rape sentence appeal…

A Gwynedd lifeguard jailed for 50 years in the United States for repeatedly raping a child has withdrawn an appeal against his sentence.

Gareth Vincent Hall, 23, asked the Oregon Court of Appeals to drop his application, weeks after submitting it.

Hall, from Talysarn, was jailed in March after admitting four counts of rape and other sexual offences against a 10-year-old girl he met online.

His former lawyer said Hall had other avenues to challenge his conviction.

Hall flew to the US in April 2015, hired a car and took the girl to a hotel after contacting her online.

Her family learned of the rape after he returned to the UK and he was arrested in May 2015 after he again travelled to the US.

He was already under investigation by North Wales Police after being arrested in October 2014 on suspicion of committing offences online.

Following the arrest, Hall was suspended by Gwynedd council from his job at Arfon Leisure Centre, Caernarfon, where he taught children to swim.

ANON Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 01:37 PM

2/2...Marc D Brown - who has now stopped representing Hall - said he could not say why he abandoned the appeal because of "attorney-client privilege concerns".

However, he said other options remained open to Hall under US law.
These include a procedure called post-conviction relief, where Hall could claim he was poorly represented by a lawyer.

This is a civil proceeding rather than a criminal one and must be applied for within two years of the final judgement.

Mr Brown said he was not sure if Hall intended to pursue another route while the Oregon Court of Appeals said it was not aware of any other appeal filed by him.

The appeal withdrawn by Hall related to the length of supervision he would undergo after being released from prison.

If he serves the full 50 years, he would be aged 72 on release, and the supervision term was set by the judge at a further 100 years after that date.

In court, Hall had claimed he thought the girl was 16 or 17, but the judge rejected it was "an innocent mistake".

A statement signed by the defendant when he pleaded guilty said he knew he would be jailed for at least 25 years with no prospect of early release.

His defence lawyer had argued he should get a sentence at the lower end of the scale. Friday 22 July 2016

ANON Jul 21st, 2016 @ 11:47 AM

Five children who were involved with social services in the Midlands died in the space of just two years, a damning report revealed today...

The children would have been known to the service due to a range of concerns including neglect and welfare risks.

The children had varying levels of involvement with social services overseen by Tusla either currently or in the past, inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) warned.

The cause of death is not revealed but ten serious incidents were reported.
The Midlands Area comprises the counties of Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford. The area is predominantly rural in nature and has five main urban areas, Portlaoise, Tullamore, Athlone, Mullingar and Longford.

Recommendations and actions arising from reviews which had followed into the cases of specific children and national review panel reports were not effectively implemented.

Inspectors, who visited the service in January and returned in March, found that some staff were unaware of child deaths or their review.

The quality of the three local and internal review reports varied.

Two made general recommendations in regard to service delivery but did not comment on the quality of decision making or oversight, while the third review was comprehensive.

The area manager told inspectors that she planned to collate the recommendations from all review reports and track their implementation.

“However, opportunities for learnings both to emphasise good practice and areas for improvements had been missed as no system was in place to review, manage and implement the findings,” the report said.

Inspectors said that during 2015 a backlog of cases, dating back a number of years, was brought to the attention of Tusla’s national office in relation to children.

The staff team had worked through the majority of the children's cases and a small number of cases remained.

However, there had been significant delays in assessing and managing these cases.

During the initial inspection, 12 out of 53 cases that were sampled by inspectors in one of the duty intake offices were escalated due to concerns in regard to their prioritisation level, and timely and or appropriate intervention.

One duty team that was predominantly resourced with agency staff with under two years experience, who had no direct line manager and with a principal social worker who was due to leave on the day after the initial fieldwork.

ANON Jul 21st, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

Operation Pallial: Child abuse probe to stop investigating…

An investigation into allegations of abuse in the north Wales care system is to stop investigating new accounts from victims and survivors.

Operation Pallial began inquiries in November 2012, with 340 people making contact, and there are currently 84 complaints being investigated.

Eight men have been convicted, including care home owner John Allen, who was jailed for life in 2014.

North Wales Police will look into allegations made after 31 August.

Operation Pallial, operated by the National Crime Agency, will remain active, supporting victims and survivors through future trials and giving advice in relation to 27 suspects.

While this work is expected to last "many months", a dedicated team at North Wales Police will deal with all new allegations from September.

ANON Jul 20th, 2016 @ 12:01 PM

1/2...Singing priest’ gets 7 years for raping boy…

Former ‘singing priest’ Tony Walsh has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix.

Anthony Walsh, aged 62, committed the offence at a time when the maximum penalty for this offence, then legally termed indecent assault, was two years.

But yesterday Judge Elma Sheahan used her discretion to impose consecutive sentences.

The Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment 1990 increased the maximum penalty to 14 years for sexually assaulting a child under the age of 17.

He forced the child to have sex twice, once in the parochial house in his parish and on another occasion in a tunnel under the Phoenix Park.

He also used a crucifix to rape the boy.

Walsh told the jury during the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last month he never knew the boy and that he never assaulted him.

Walsh, formerly of North Circular Rd, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to five counts of indecently assaulting the boy on dates between January 1980 and December 1982.

The boy was aged between 10 and 13 at the time.

Following a three-day trial the jury returned verdicts of guilty on all counts after an hour of deliberations.

Garda Tara Corrigan told Fiona McGowan, prosecuting, at a sentence hearing earlier this month, that Walsh has 17 previous convictions, from 1995 to 2015, for indecently assaulting young boys and two girls.

Walsh fought two trials and pleaded guilty to the other offences.

He is currently serving a sentence and is not due for release until 2021.
Judge Sheahan said yesterday that the rape charges were the most grave and warranted the maximum penalty of two years.

She imposed a further 15 months on the two remaining indecent assault charges and ordered that all of the sentences should run consecutively.

Judge Sheahan said she would reduce the total sentence of eight-and-a-half years by one year, taking into account the totality of the prison sentence served and to be served by Walsh.

She backdated the sentence to Walsh’s conviction last month, meaning he is now due for release in June 2023.

ANON Jul 20th, 2016 @ 11:57 AM

2/2...The judge said Walsh’s abuse of the victim had long-lasting consequences for the man in his childhood and into his adolescence and adulthood which had “plagued his life to date”.

She said the accused had violated his position of trust in a grievous way and it was difficult to find any mitigating factors considering that he ran “a full and complete defence of denial”.

“There is no indication that he accepts the jury’s verdict and he has shown no expression of remorse,” said Judge Sheahan.

During the trial Walsh told the jury that his offending in relation to children started in 1980 and continued to 1986. He said a number of the children told their families what was happening and he was called in by the archbishop in 1986.

He said he was sent for six months’ treatment in Britain and on his return home he was made a hospital chaplain.

He said he first came to Garda attention in 1995 in relation to one incident. In 1997 he pleaded guilty to offences involving five boys in the period 1980 to 1986.

He was sent to prison for ten years initially and this was reduced to six years on appeal.

He was released in 2002. In 2010 he pleaded guilty in two further cases and not guilty in one case, but was convicted by a jury. In 2013 he pleaded guilty to two more cases. Walsh said that in 2015 he was convicted by a jury in relation to the sexual abuse of a girl.

He said that in 2002, four months after his release and “like a bolt out of the blue” he was featured on the TV programme, Cardinal Sins.

The victim told the jury that on the first occasions Walsh had sat him on his knee and pulled him backwards with a gyrating motion.

On further occasions Walsh sat him on his knee and pulled down his trousers and underwear before fondling his genitalia.

He also recalled being bent over a sofa by Walsh who then put what he believed was his finger into his anus before putting his penis into him.

He said on another day he felt something being put inside his bottom and afterwards saw a crucifix on the ground behind him.

He said on the final occasion Walsh asked him to go for a walk and brought him to Phoenix Park.

They went for a walk and into a tunnel where there was a mattress on the ground. Walsh pulled down his underwear and put his penis inside him again. 20 July 2016

ANON Jul 19th, 2016 @ 12:01 PM

1/2...Irish Catholic Church ‘trying to dump’ sex abuse priests on State
Church should use wealth to keep abusers away from public child protection advocate.

Two of America’s leading Catholic child protection advocates have strongly opposed suggestions by the church that care of laicised priests convicted of child abuse ought, in certain circumstances, to be a State responsibility.

It follows an interview in which Teresa Devlin, chief executive of the Irish Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog its National Board for Safeguarding Children said “once you know he is guilty, then you do have to cut the ties, you cannot continue to pay for someone, and at some stage the State has to take over with

“We are still talking about those people in their 60s because most of this abuse did happen around the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so we’re talking older people,” she said.

Last month new child protection guidance standards were published by the board where it stated: “If the respondent is not the responsibility of the church authority, the church authority must inform the statutory authorities, and the process of involvement (by the church) in relation to safeguarding ends.”

ANON Jul 19th, 2016 @ 11:58 AM

2/2...‘Heinous crimes’

US lawyer and former Benedictine monk Patrick Wall said his take on it “is that they are looking to dump all their criminals on the public”.

He said that the church “selected, hired, trained, supervised and turned these perpetrators loose where they committed heinous crimes against children leaving permanent scars that continue to impact survivors and their families.

The church ought to reap what they sowed”.

What should happen “is that the church use their land, tax-exempt status, wealth and personnel to isolate the perpetrators away from the public,” he said.

Dominican priest Canon Tom Doyle said: “The bishops want to rid themselves of perpetrators so as to avoid having to share the responsibility of their own negligence.”

He added: “I have found that, with very, very few exceptions, any solutions the bishops promote to anything related to clergy sex abuse usually is fundamentally for their benefit, while often covered over with pietistic and honest sounding bullshit.”

Meanwhile, president of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors Cardinal Seán O’Malley has encouraged bishops, priests and religious superiors to be in contact with sex abuse victims “so that they will understand the impact and be more vigilant”.

Such meetings had been “transformative for me and that’s why one of the first things we did as a commission was to set up meetings with the Holy Father with victims”.

For Pope Francis it was “a very, very important experience,” the cardinal told RTÉ Radio One’s This Week programme July 19 2016

ANON Jul 19th, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

1/2... Man jailed for defiling girl (13) he blackmailed…

A man who blackmailed a 13-year-old girl into having sex with him using a “compromising” photograph has been jailed for six years.

The Central Criminal Court heard the photograph did not involve nudity and was not especially compromising, but due to cultural differences it would have caused problems for the girl if her family became aware of it.

The girl had sent the picture to a different man but the accused had come into possession of it.

The 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to three counts of defilement of the child on dates between September and November 2012.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said the offences had a “squalidity” about them and noted they had caused considerably difficulty for the young woman.

He also noted the accused man’s guilty plea and that he was not likely to re-offend.
The judge imposed a two-year sentence on each of the three counts.

A local Garda told Kerida Naidoo SC, prosecuting, that the accused man had been a
family friend and had become jealous when the girl got a boyfriend.

He came into possession of a “compromising” photograph of the girl that she had sent to someone else.

The Garda said the accused man then used the photograph to blackmail her into having sex, by telling her he would show it to her parents.

On three occasions he arranged to pick her up from school and brought her up to the Dublin mountains. where he had sex with her. The girl did not want to have sex and told him so.

During one of the incidents he made a video. It was not explicit and the girl could be heard telling him to stop.

On the final occasion, he told her he would delete the image if she agreed to have

The matter was reported to gardaí in December and the man was arrested and interviewed.

ANON Jul 19th, 2016 @ 11:48 AM

2/2...‘Difficult background’

Sean Gillane SC, defending, said the accused man had a difficult background and a lot of responsibility had fallen on his shoulders as he grew up.

He said his client was someone who was of a good nature, worked hard, was relatively quiet and responsible.

He said his client was not taking the impact on the victim lightly and had written a letter of apology.

Mr Gillane said the issue of jealousy should never have arisen and it seemed to trigger a response that was criminal and wrong.

He submitted his client was otherwise of good character. July 19 2016

ANON Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:36 AM

Vulnerable woman returned to family home even though she had been sexually abused by relative…

A vulnerable woman in HSE care was regularly returned to her family home despite it being known that she had been sexually abused in childhood by a family member.

The home visits were to be supervised but the HSE worker who accompanied the woman had no knowledge of the abuse or of the need to supervise the visits.

The allegation is contained in a leaked report obtained by RTÉ Investigates.

The report, which dates from 2013, was written by a senior social worker and examined 1080 files spanning a 30 year period.

It reveals that there were almost 200 adults with intellectual disabilities for whom case files did not exist.

Other files had not been updated in over 25 years and consisted of nothing more than a single sheet of paper with the author referring to some as a “complete mystery”.

In one case a client who had been placed with a service some 17 years earlier and hadn’t been visited by the health board or HSE in the intervening years.

The client’s files contained “very little information” despite the placement costing “€88,000” annually.

And another case referred to a man with Down Syndrome who spent his whole life in residential care, yet when the report’s author and this colleague visited him, they were “the first official people” to have done so in 16 years.

In a statement, the HSE said that of the 1080 disability files reviewed “47 priority cases” were highlighted for follow up.

It said the care and safety needs of all the cases highlighted are being met there are “no current safeguarding issues”. And a range of service improvements have been put in place to “safeguard vulnerable adults from neglect or abuse”.

Last year the show revealed how a young woman with profound intellectual disabilities, now known by the pseudonym ‘Grace’, was left in a care setting in Waterford for almost 20 years despite a succession of sexual abuse allegations.

When failures in the ‘Grace’ case came to light, two case reviews were commissioned by the HSE, one in 2012 and a second in 2015, but both reviews have not been published.

The Government then announced earlier this year that the entire matter would be subject to a statutory Commission of Investigation.

ANON Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:12 AM

Barnardo's Cymru: Exploited boys 'often miss out on help'…

Boy victims of sexual exploitation often miss out on help as they are more reluctant than girls to admit their abuse, a charity has warned.

Barnardo's Cymru said professionals can often spot symptoms of abuse among girls, but sexual stereotyping means boys can slip through the net.

Negative behaviour among boys tends to be taken at face value, while in girls it is more likely to be explored as a potential response to trauma.

The charity wants awareness raised.

Menna Thomas, senior policy research officer and co-author of the report, I Never Spoke About It, said boys have "additional barriers which prevent them from being identified and, more importantly, from being able to speak up about their abuse.

"For example, boys' negative or criminal behaviour is often interpreted and responded to in a way which overlooks their status as victims of exploitation and abuse.

"There doesn't seem to be sufficient awareness of the possibility of boys being vulnerable to sexual exploitation and, therefore, insufficient messaging to boys that they will be believed and offered suitable services."

The report also found as the most vulnerable boys move into adolescence, they are at greater risk of mental health problems, substance misuse, homelessness and offending behaviour.

It found they were also more likely to be loners - all are factors which can increase the risk of sexual exploitation.

It said a high number of professionals who were questioned referred to boys who had run away from home or been forced to live on the streets and exchanged sex for accommodation or food, known as "survival sex".

ANON Jul 12th, 2016 @ 01:07 PM

Abuse claims see Cloyne diocese priest defrocked…

Another priest in the diocese of Cloyne has been defrocked by the Vatican because of child sex abuse allegations.

Two women complained to the diocese in 2009 that the priest had abused them when they were minors and he was placed on administrative leave.

Gardaí investigated the complaints but the DPP chose not to prosecute.

A subsequent canonical hearing by the Church was undertaken and the priest was found guilty.

According to Bishop of Cloyne William Crean, the priest “has received a penalty of lifelong prohibition from ministry” and has been told by Rome he is “to lead a life of penance and prayer”.

Bishop Crean said: “If appealed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the priest will continue to remain out of ministry.

The persons who made the complaints have been contacted by the Diocese to inform them of this.

“I apologise to all who have suffered abuse of any kind at the hands of clergy. I want to assure the people of Cloyne that the most comprehensive child protection measures are in place in the diocese.”

Another Cloyne priest, Fr Dan Duane, was found guilty and removed from the priesthood by a canonical tribunal in 2013.

However, he appealed Rome’s decision before his appeal was rejected by the CDF last year.

ANON Jul 12th, 2016 @ 01:05 PM

Abuser described as ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ jailed for 13 years …

A Kerry grandfather described as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” has been jailed for 13 years for the sexual abuse of his daughter and two of his granddaughters.

At the Central Criminal Court the father of the youngest victim, who was the first child to report the abuse, urged parents to be vigilant if they had the “slightest inkling that a child was a little off.”

He thanked the child’s teacher who had just finished the “Stay Safe” programme with the class when his daughter revealed her own abuse.

Her grandfather, who raped and sexually assaulted the child while babysitting her, had told her it was “their little secret”.

The accused subsequently admitted abusing all three victims. He has no previous convictions and is now wholly estranged from his family.

The 67-year-old who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault of the younger granddaughter, who first reported his abuse, on dates between 2011 and 2014.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault of an older granddaughter on dates between 2011 and 2012 and sexual assault of his own daughter during her childhood on dates between 1995 and 1999.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy noted the man had repeated his sexual wrongdoing in two generations of the family.

He imposed consecutive sentences totalling 13 years.

He handed in a psychologist’s report and a bundle of testimonials from “people who spoke well of him.” He asked the court to take into account the man’s remorse, admissions and co-operation with gardaí.

The father of the youngest victim, who made the initial disclosures, gave a victim impact statement on her behalf. He said for as long as his daughter could remember she had been subject to sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather.

He praised the nine year old girl’s “unbelievable courage” in coming forward to report the abuse to her teacher after they completed the Stay Safe program in school.

“What happen to her should never happen to any child on this earth,” her father said, “how frightened and confused she must have been.”

“Evil had entered her home,” he said, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

ANON Jul 12th, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

2/2...The man’s daughter, who was abused between the ages of 10 and 14, said she had believed she was the only victim.

Her abuse came to an end when she shouted at her father to leave her alone.

She described the guilt she felt years later when she discovered he had abused her nieces as well.

“How could you have done this to us?” she asked her father during her victim impact statement.

The younger granddaughter was aged between six and nine at the time of the abuse, while her cousin was aged between nine and 10 years old.

The man abused the girls at various locations including the family home and while babysitting.

Defence counsel, Anthony Sammon SC, said the accused man was “terribly upset” at what he had done and at destroying what was once a close family.

He said he was struggling to come to terms with the make-up of his own nature that brought this about.

ANON Jul 12th, 2016 @ 12:37 PM

1/3...Man jailed for daily abuse of his daughter over 10 years …

Victim ‘felt like an animal’ when father cornered her in shed and tried to have sex with her

A man who sexually abused his daughter nearly every day for 10 years has been sentenced to eight years with one suspended.

The Central Criminal Court heard the victim said she felt like an animal the day her father cornered her in a shed and tried to have sex with her.

Her 50-year-old father has since been diagnosed a paedophile by a psychiatrist.

The court heard that he began abusing his daughter when she was five years old and after he developed an addiction to pornography.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt ordered the man be registered as a sex offender.

He suspended the final year of the eight year sentence for three years and ordered that the accused undergo 18 months post release supervision

The now 20-year-old victim first disclosed the abuse to her school chaplain when she was 17.

She said she always felt different from others and was bullied in school.

She read in her victim impact statement that a father was supposed to care for and protect his children, but he “treated me like an object that he could use and control”. She said as a child she felt she was unable to turn to anyone, “even after I realised what was going on”.

Recalling an incident of attempted rape when she was “cornered” in a cattle shed, she said; “I remember thinking he treated the animals better than me. I told him I felt like a chained-up animal.”

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to two attempted rapes and 10 sexual assaults on dates between 2003 to 2012 at the family farm and other areas in Co Sligo. He has no previous convictions.

The court heard that the man would often wake the girl up from her sleep and bring her into his bedroom where he would sexually assault her in the bed he shared with his wife.

The girl recalled that on one occasion her baby sister, who would sleep in a cot in their parent’s room, was awake and watching them.

ANON Jul 12th, 2016 @ 12:33 PM

2/3..The man would also watch the girl while she showered.

He always abused her after asking her to come out and help him on the family’s farm with the evening chores.

Dara Foynes BL, prosecuting, told Mr Justice Hunt that the 10 counts were representative of 37 counts.

She said the girl claimed that he abused her every day and the father admitted to Gardaí that it happened at least two or three times a week.

The man made immediate admissions to a social worker in March 2014 and immediately left the family home.

The girl said the fact her younger sisters still did not know why their father left was very upsetting for her and she felt responsible for breaking up the family.

The man told Gardaí during interview that he took advantage of the close relationship he had with his daughter. “I had a thing in my mind that I was giving her comfort,” he said.
Mr Justice Hunt said he had concerns about the man being diagnosed as a paedophile following an assessment by Doctor Brenda Wright.

He asked John Paul Shortt SC, defending, if such a person could ever be rehabilitated, having said he would be worried about allowing person with that diagnosis back into the community.

Counsel replied that he believed “nobody was beyond redemption”.

The man took the stand and addressed his daughter in court saying that a “proper apology was well overdue”.

He said he understood that a prison sentence was for him to surrender to his past failings and his crimes, which he said his poor daughter was the victim of.

Mr Justice Hunt told him that the victim, the man’s eldest daughter was “the very obvious victim but there are other victims in the family too”.

ANON Jul 12th, 2016 @ 12:30 PM

3/3...Descent into depravity…

Mr Shortt said a psychiatrist report from Dr Wright concluded that his client’s “descent into depravity ran in tandem with an addiction that he developed into watching pornography and sex channels”.

She concluded her report by giving the diagnosis that the man was a paedophile who was sexually attracted to prepubescent girls.

Mr Shortt said his client had led “an otherwise blameless life” before the offences began.

He asked that the court take into account that the man always admitted “the sick and perverted behaviour over a protracted period”.

The woman read her victim impact statement in which she said “as a young girl growing up I was abused nearly every day by my father”.

She said that every day of her childhood and teenage years was filled with horrific abuse and some of those memories were still alive in her mind.

She outlined incidences of abuse that she said were still very vivid.

She said after being molested in her parent’s bed she was sent back to her own bed where she would cry herself to sleep.

The woman said her father would be angry and forceful if she tried to stop him which she said would frighten her. She said she felt isolated at school and wondered what was wrong with her.

“He took my innocence, childhood dignity and self-worth by abusing me each day; I never felt I was my own person.”

She finished her victim impact report by thanking her family, Gardaí and the teacher she disclosed the abuse to.

Benson Jul 10th, 2016 @ 10:37 AM

A Pennsylvania man who spoke out against clergy abuse after publicly identifying himself as a victim of a predator priest has killed himself, authorities said.

Brian Gergely, 46, was found hanged in his home in Ebensburg on Friday, Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Gergely went public in 2003 while suing Monsignor Francis McCaa and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, saying he was abused as a 10-year-old altar boy.

“It takes a great deal of courage to step forward, and even more courage to go public and give your identity instead of a pseudonym. Brian overcame that because he felt so strongly about the sexual abuse of children,” said Richard Serbin, the Altoona attorney who represented Gergely.

“Tragically, the demons he’s been dealing with since he was molested by McCaa finally won out.”

Gergely and other plaintiffs settled their lawsuit against McCaa, other priests and the diocese in 2005. McCaa died in 2007.

McCaa was described as a “monster” in a state grand jury report released in March that criticized the diocese’s handling of clergy abuse claims.

He reportedly fondled altar boys whom he had told to go without pants under their cassocks, molesting them in a church sacristy, a rectory and even while taking their confession, the grand jury found.

Gergely gave numerous interviews in hopes of encouraging other abuse victims to come forward.

“I was standing in the sacristy and he pinned me to the desk. I was just a little guy,” Gergely told The Guardian after the grand jury report’s release.

“My parents were patrons,” he said. “They were going door to door raising money for the church. The community put Monsignor McCaa on a pedestal.”

Gergely’s funeral is Wednesday at Holy Name Catholic Church, the parish where he was molested.

Benson Jul 10th, 2016 @ 09:46 AM

A verdict is expected early next week in the trial of two men accused of abusing boys at the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland.

John Farrell (73), of Motherwell, and Paul Kelly (63), of Plymouth, have denied sexually and physically abusing the boys, then aged between 11 and 16, between 1967 and 1983.

They went on trial in April at the High Court in Glasgow.

The Crown claims a total of 35 boys were allegedly abused at the school. Farrell has lodged a special defence of alibi.

The trial, before judge Lord Matthews, is expected to end on Monday or Tuesday. It is one o