June Comments 2017

ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:45 AM

1/2...Cardinal George Pell charged with historical sex offences in Australia…

Australia's highest-ranking Catholic cleric faces multiple charges relating to the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal.

The Pope's chief financial adviser has announced he will take a leave of absence after being charged with historical sex crimes.

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, has fiercely denied the multiple allegations against him.

At a news conference on Thursday, he said the two-year investigation had been fuelled by "relentless character assassination".

He has now been called back to Australia and ordered to appear before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 18 July.

"I am innocent of these charges.

They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me," he told reporters.

"The court proceedings now offer me the opportunity to clear my name and then return here back to Rome to work."

Cardinal Pell is the third most senior Catholic at the Vatican, where he is responsible for the Church's finances.

He was interviewed in Rome by Australian police last October, with Victoria State Police's deputy commissioner confirming there are multiple complainants relating to the charges.

"It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have, obviously, been tested in any court yet," the officer added.

The Cardinal Archdiocese of Sydney said the cleric "will defend the charges vigorously".

Australia has no extradition treaty with the Vatican, but Cardinal Pell is expected to fly there as soon as he receives advice and approval from doctors.


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

2/2...A Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis had learned with "regret" of the charges and had granted the 76-year-old's leave of absence.

The latest allegations will put pressure on the Pope, who has promised to have "zero tolerance" and sack bishops found guilty of abuse - or of covering it up.

Cardinal Pell has previously been accused of mishandling abuse cases while he was

Archbishop of Melbourne, and later of Sydney.

In 2014, the Pope created a commission of outside experts to advise him on how to fight abuse and protect children.

That commission's credibility was dented after two survivors of abuse resigned as members, with the Pontiff scrapping one of the commission's key proposals.

Pope Francis was also criticised for appointing a Chilean bishop who had been accused of helping to cover for a paedophile. In a video later made public, he described the bishop's opponents as "leftists" and "stupid".

Regarding the allegations against Cardinal Pell, the Pope said last year: "We have to wait for justice and not make a mediatic judgement, a judgement of gossip, because that won't help.

"Once justice has spoken, I will speak."

The Blue Knot Foundation, an Australian support group for adult survivors of childhood abuse, has said the decision to charge Pell sends a powerful message.

"It upholds that no one is above the law, no matter how high their office, qualifications, or standing," the group said in a statement.


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

1/2..Girl had skull, arm, legs broken in five months…

A five-month-old girl suffered a catalogue of injuries including a skull fracture, a broken arm along with a broken left and broken right leg under the care of her then 19-year-old mother.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, Garda Hilda Moloney said the mother presented to her GP, Dr Conor Magee on February 13, 2015, in a distressed state with the baby as her daughter’s left arm was not moving and she had bruising to her face.

Dr Magee referred the case immediately to the paediatric unit to University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

There, medics carried out a full skeletal survey of the baby that detected older injuries a healing fracture of the larger bone on the lower left leg; a healing fracture of the right thigh bone; and an older right sided skull fracture.

Medics also detected a torn frenulum the muscle under the tongue and the child’s mother said this could have occurred as a result of forcing a baby’s bottle or a soother into the baby’s mouth.

The now 22-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to wilfully assaulting and neglecting the child in a manner likely to cause unnecessary injury to the child’s health and seriously affect her wellbeing.

The charge is contrary to Section 246 of the Children’s Act. The offence took on dates between the summer of 2014 and February 2015.

Patrick Whyms BL, for the mother, said the State had not proceeded with an assault causing harm charge and there was no evidence to support a charge that the mother had deliberately assaulted the baby.

He said: “Throughout the statements in the book of evidence, we have stories of people observing this baby treated in a manner which would cause people to recoil.”


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

2/2...Mr Whyms said: “We have nobody saying that they ever saw the mother attempt to deliberately injure this baby.”

He went on: “Of course, this baby has sustained a catalogue of injuries and of course it is the duty of the parents to protect her, but there is no evidence that it was the mother’s purpose to injure the baby.

Clearly, the baby has been treated in too rough a fashion by far and has sustained these injuries.”

The mother was diagnosed with post-natal depression in October 2014. She is allowed supervised access with the baby with relatives twice a week.

Consultant paediatrician at UHL Dr Barry Linnane provided care to the baby and in evidence yesterday, expressed doubt over the explanations given by the mother for the injuries.

He said the injuries occurred on different dates during the baby’s first five months.
In relation to the bruising on the child’s right cheek, the mother said this occurred as a result of her sucking the baby’s cheek. Dr Linnane said this was unlikely.

The mother said the injury to the arm occurred as a result of her catching the baby’s arm as she fell and Dr Linnane said this explanation was difficult to understand and unlikely.

The mother said the baby sustained her leg injuries after falling out of a pram and Dr Linnane said: “It is very difficult to understand how a baby could fall from a pram and even if that did happen, you wouldn’t expect two fractures, which were of a different age.”

The mother told gardaí the skull fracture may have occurred when the child fell out of a bouncer and hit her head on the wall or may have occurred when she fell on the floor with the baby in her arms.

Again, Dr Linnane said the two explanations were unlikely to explain the injuries as significant force would be required to cause them.

.Judge Gerard Keys directed the mother engage with the Probation Services and adjourned sentencing


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:35 AM

1/2...Jailed for sexually assaulting niece, 12…

A 48-year-old man commenced a full sexual relationship with his 12-year-old niece by first kissing her and telling her that this would cure her spots.

He was jailed yesterday for seven years at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for defilement of the child and sexual assaults over a six-month period.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “He singled out this girl and gave her particular attention and worked his way into her good books.

“He took advantage of her where there was a significant age difference. He was a fully grown, married man.

“His actions had a significant effect on the victim and on her family. It destroyed her for a while, to the extent that she thought of suicide. Thankfully, this girl is very steadfast now and she thinks the future is bright for her.

“The accused has shown no insight, no sympathy for the victim, there has been no expression of remorse. He is in denial of the acts and of the verdict of the jury.”

The jury took more than four hours of deliberation to return majority verdicts of guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to 15 separate counts eight for defilement and seven for sexual assault in the latter half of 2011.

The verdicts were delivered after the jury was told that majority verdicts of 10-2 or 11-1 would be acceptable if they could not reach unanimous verdicts.


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

2/2...On the eight defilement charges, there were two 11-1 and six 10-2 guilty verdicts. On the seven sexual assault charges, there were two 11-1 verdicts and five of 10-2.

The man cannot be identified in order to protect the identity of the complainant.
She is now 18 and told the jury during the four-day trial that her uncle had a sexual relationship with her for several months when she was aged 12.

She said there was sexual intercourse every second day, if not every day, during that period of time.

Elizabeth O’Connell, defending, asked why she did not state the full extent of the alleged sexual intercourse when she first made a complaint.

“Why? Because I was in love,” she replied. “I did not want this man going to jail. But now that I am grown up I know it was wrong.”

The man did not give evidence from the witness box but the jury heard of the denials he made when questioned by gardaí about the allegations. His lawyer made submissions on his behalf.

Ms O’Connell said that, not alone did he not do it, but he could not have done so as he suffered from erectile dysfunction. His wife testified that he had been able to have sex with her in the months before the alleged incidents complained of by his niece.

The judge referred to the alleged erectile dysfunction and a surgeon’s report on the matter.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said yesterday that he attached more weight to the evidence of the defendant’s wife on this complaint than to the evidence of the surgeon.


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:29 AM

Drunken abuse of children 'a crisis'…

Violence against young people by parents abusing alcohol has been described as a "national crisis" by the author of an audit on child protection within the State.

Dr Geoffrey Shannon, the Government's special rapporteur on child protection, said there is a "prevalence" of domestic abuse in Irish homes.

He added that in some cases children need to be "criminalised and pathologised" in order to receive adequate welfare services.

Dr Shannon was speaking following the publication of his audit report on Garda powers under Section 12 of the Child Care Act, which allows it to remove children from their homes in emergency situations.

"The audit also indicates the prevalence of domestic abuse that doesn't just mean physical abuse.

"One of the biggest challenges facing Irish society is the risks to children by parents who abuse alcohol.

"It is essential that those operating under the umbrella of child protection services can share information on vulnerable children," Dr Shannon said.

He was speaking at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs yesterday.

The committee also heard scathing criticism of mental health services for children.
Child law solicitor Gareth Noble told TDs and senators of "scandalously long" waiting times for appointments, while 15 counties have no out-of-hours and weekend crisis services.

Dozens of young people are being admitted to adult wards because there are no places for them in services for children. The failings were "a serious dereliction" of the duty of care towards children.

Mr Noble said the lack of capacity had been compounded by the recent removal of 11 beds from the Linn Dara facility in west Dublin. He added there are now 2,419 children waiting for appointments with the HSE's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), 218 of whom have been waiting more than a year.


ANON Jun 29th, 2017 @ 11:26 AM

A guilt-ridden paedophile went to a Dublin Garda station to confess he had sexually abused a four-year-old girl in Co Clare almost a decade earlier, a court has heard.

Former bus driver Ciaran Colgan (56), of Glenna Heorna, Springfield, Tallaght, told gardai at Crumlin Garda Station in 2010 that he had abused the girl on three different occasions between 2001 and 2003 in west Clare.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Gda Ruth O'Sullivan said Colgan identified the child by name and said he sexually assaulted her.

"He indicated to colleagues that he didn't wish to make a statement but, if a complaint was ever made, that he would admit to everything," she said.

Colgan walked free as there was no complaint against him at that time. Four years later, in 2014, he offended again when he posed as a 16-year-old boy on Facebook and sent sexually explicit messages to a 12-year-old girl.

Garda O'Sullivan said that, in March, Colgan received a four-year jail term at Cavan Circuit Court, with the final two-and-a-half years suspended, for the sexual exploitation of a child in relation to the messages.

In the case before Ennis Circuit Court, Colgan has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault on a four-year-old girl.

The case came to court after the victim made formal complaints last year. When interviewed, Colgan confessed and told gardai: "I am very sorry."

Colgan abused the girl on three occasions when baby-sitting her.

In her victim impact statement, the complainant said she came forward and put "myself in this complicated and sensitive process mainly to ensure the protection of other children but also as closure for myself so that I continue to heal and better myself".

"I was such a young girl in a vulnerable situation and I was used for pleasure by an adult I was expected to respect," she said.

At the age of five, I didn't have the words to describe how I was feeling, but now I do.

"I remember feeling disgusted and ashamed of myself for what happened, which I see is a massive burden to carry."

In the years after the abuse "I bottled up all my emotions and it took a toll on my mental health and I suffered low self-esteem and I went through a period of self-harming".

Judge Gerard Keys remanded Colgan in custody for sentencing next Tuesday


ANON Jun 26th, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

1/2...How one Irish man tracked his mother down 48 years after he was taken from her…
Eunan Duffy was taken from his mother against her will by the Catholic Church as a newborn and placed for adoption.

He is now campaigning for justice with the group Birth Mothers and Their Children for Justice NI.

This is his story....

"I was born in 1968 in the former Marian Vale mother and baby home in Newry. My mother was 22.

"After I was born I was placed on her chest for a matter of minutes and then taken away.

"I was kept in a separate part of the home for 10 weeks without my mother's knowledge before I was adopted.

"I had a good childhood and life. I only discovered I was adopted in February 2016 when I applied to get married.

"I immediately went to the Southern Health Trust in Newry and they gave me initial information about my adoption.

"They told me I would get my records within a few weeks. I didn't get them until July and they were heavily redacted.

"Even my mother's date of birth was redacted.

"Can you imagine how difficult it is to find someone if you only have a maiden name and not even a date of birth?

"There are a lot of frailties in the system and I did a lot of the work to track my mother down myself.


ANON Jun 26th, 2017 @ 12:55 PM

2/2"...I was desperate to find her.

"When I heard about the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry I was thinking of just turning up and hanging about in case I heard mum's name.

"At that time I didn't know I had been taken off her.

"I eventually found out where she was living - a residential place for the elderly in London.

"Adopt NI wrote to her there but there was no reply.

"I eventually rang the manager and she told me my mother had moved out and gave me a forwarding address.

"In August 2016 Adopt NI wrote to her at the address.

"She got the letter on a Saturday and phoned Adopt NI on the Monday morning and just said: 'Is it him?' He said 'yes'. It went from there.

"I went over to see my mum a week later and spent a couple of days and then brought her here for a few weeks. We are in touch regularly.

"Mum told me I was put on her chest for a few seconds before I was taken away.

"That's as long as I got.

"My mum doesn't remember one minute of her time in Marian Vale from post-traumatic stress.

"The only thing she remembers is me being put on her chest and looking into my eyes and then me being taken away.

"I was fortunate. My mum had been waiting and hoping for me to find her.

"But that's not always the case. I know from other adoptees they haven't had the same experience as me.

"In the modern day what was done back then would be categorised as human trafficking."


ANON Jun 26th, 2017 @ 10:18 AM

Please copy and paste...http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/new-bessborough-revelations-show-wider-range-of-products-tested-on-children-453349.html


ANON Jun 22nd, 2017 @ 04:20 PM

Church of England colluded with Bishop who abused children for 20 years…

The Church of England colluded with a disgraced former Bishop who abused men and boys over a period of 20 years, a damning independent report has found.

Senior figures in the church worked with Peter Ball, former bishop of Gloucester and Lewes, to cover up evidence of his crimes.

Ball was jailed in 2015 for abusing 18 young men who had come to him for spiritual guidance.

He served 16 months in prison and was released in February this year.

The report came after a year-long enquiry by Dame Moira Gibb, which found that the church ‘trivialised’ Ball’s actions to protect its own reputation.

The enquiry found that letters from members of the public who had experienced abuse were not passed onto police.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey was strongly criticised over his handling of the case.

It emerged that he wrote to Peter Ball’s twin brother Bishop Michael Ball after Peter Ball was given a caution for gross indecency, saying he considered him to be ‘basically innocent.’

Peter Ball stood down as a Bishop in 1993 after a young man called Neil Todd informed the church that there had been ‘sexual activity’ between them.

But despite this Lord Carey permitted Ball to carry out baptisms and confirmations, as well as making public speaking appearances at schools.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that the report made for ‘harrowing reading’.

He said: ‘The church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward.

This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour.

‘To the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology.

There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.


ANON Jun 22nd, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Brother of late soccer star abused male pupils…

A former Christian Brother who sexually abused his pupils while in class has been found guilty of indecent assault.

James Treacy (75), with an address at Ashford Close, Swords, Dublin, showed no emotion as a jury at Limerick Circuit Court found him guilty of 15 counts of abusing three boys.

The court heard harrowing evidence from the victims, who were all aged 10 and in fifth class at the time.

Evidence was also heard that after abusing some of the boys Treacy brought them as a treat to meet his brother, the late Republic of Ireland soccer star Ray Treacy, who had no knowledge of the abuse, at a celebrity sports event.

To protect the identities of the victims, the court ordered restrictions on identifying the school where the abuse occurred. Treacy had denied all of the charges which related to offences which occurred in the late 1970s.

The court heard evidence from Treacy's victims, who all said he would abuse them in front of one another.

His modus operandi, the court heard, was to place his hands down the front of the boys' trousers and fondle their private parts.

One victim told the court: "It was a military-style class. What I mean by that is that we had to be neat and clean.

Our hair had to be cut and we had to clean our ears, and if you're ears weren't clean, he would actually lick your ears."

He said the accused became a friend of his family and would visit his home and go with them on family day trips.

Another victim told the court how Treacy reached inside his clothes and fondled him while whispering into his ear. "It was horrific," the man said.

A third victim broke down several times as he described Treacy abusing him in "full view of the class".

Treacy was convicted last month of two further counts of indecent assault on a boy at a school in the 1970s.

Treacy was remanded on continuing bail for sentencing on all matters on June 30


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 03:55 PM

Former caretaker of GAA ground charged with child abuse…

A 62-year-old former caretaker of a midlands GAA ground has appeared in court in Longford charged with 144 sexual offences against children, between 2000 and 2013.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested at 8.15am and charged with sexual assault, exploitation of children at a GAA ground, and possession and production of child abuse images at another address.

The court was told there are four alleged victims involved in the cases.

The man has been released on bail with conditions set and will appear again in court in September.

Judge Seamus Hughes made an order prohibiting the publication of the accused's name or the names of the alleged victims in the case


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 03:52 PM

1/2...HSE staff in Grace case ‘facing discipline process’…

A number of HSE officials directly involved in the Grace foster abuse case are facing disciplinary action over their failure to prevent the scandal and allegedly trying to cover it up.

HSE director general Tony O’Brien confirmed the situation as it separately emerged that three out of five HSE officials directly linked to the Grace case were subsequently promoted to senior roles.

At the latest Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on the issue, Mr O’Brien confirmed while no individual has lost their job, a number are now facing a “disciplinary process”.

Responding to questions from PAC member and Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward, Mr O’Brien said: “There is currently a disciplinary process” which could lead to such measures.

“There are some individuals who are currently the subject of a disciplinary process, yes,” he said.

The HSE director general declined to explain how many people are facing disciplinary action, or what positions they currently hold, when asked by Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane. Similarly, a senior HSE spokesperson did not respond to an Irish Examiner request for the same information.

However, the confirmation that a number of senior HSE officials are now the subject of internal investigations over what role they played in the decades-long scandal is likely to lead to fresh public demands for transparency on who exactly is involved.

As previously revealed by the Irish Examiner in March, a number of people directly involved in the Grace foster abuse scandal still work in the HSE, while others were transferred to State child and family agency Tusla and hold senior roles.

They have yet to be publicly named in part because the HSE initially said no disciplinary process could take place until reports into the scandal were published earlier this year, after a two-year delay and that identifying them now may jeopardise the ongoing Commission of Investigation into the case.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 03:50 PM

2/2...However, in a PAC meeting in early April, HSE assistant national director Ray Mitchell gave details about a wide number of individuals involved in the Grace case.

They include:

:: One individual, named in Grace-related reports as ‘H3’, retired from the HSE in 2012 before joining the State’s child protection agency Tusla in a senior capacity in

December 2013;

:: A second person (H7) retired from the HSE on October 17, 2010;

:: A third (H12) also retired on February 29, 2012;

:: Another individual (H6) joined Tusla on December 9, 2013;

:: A fifth (H4) resigned from the HSE for as yet unknown reasons on April 29, 2009.

At yesterday’s PAC meeting, Mr O’Brien also confirmed under questioning from Independent TD Catherine Connolly that three of Grace officials received promotions since the case emerged. They include H3 and H7, who were promoted to unknown positions in December 1991 and June 1996 respectively.

Meanwhile, Mr O’Brien also admitted that the HSE has yet to formally apologise to the whistle blowers who revealed the scandal or their agency for allegedly slashing its funding in the period in which they highlighted the case.

He said this is because the Deloitte report on this aspect of the case has yet to be published, three months after it was due.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous the length of time this is taking, 16 months’ waiting [since a report into the funding issue was first sought] is insane,” said Labour TD Alan Kelly.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 03:44 PM

1/5...Institutional abuse: NI report scathing at how Nazareth homes were run

Inquiries on both sides of Border criticised care in homes run by Sisters of Nazareth

The Historical Institutional Abuse report found that “the development of Nazareth House and Nazareth Lodge was motivated by the drive on the part of the Roman Catholic Church to provide services for Catholic children, so that they would not need to be admitted to workhouses, state institutions or homes run by non-Catholic organisations where the Church felt that their spiritual needs might not be met appropriately”.

The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry (HIA) report last January was unequivocal in its findings about the Nazareth House (girls) and Nazareth Lodge (boys) homes in Belfast, both run by the Sisters of Nazareth.
It investigated abuses in Northern Ireland residential institutions for children in the period between 1922 and 1995.
The HIA report concluded that at the homes in Belfast “the shortage of finance and its consequent impact on staffing levels and physical standards of care amounted to a form of neglect and constituted systemic abuse. Although both central government and the welfare authorities bore some responsibility, this was primarily the responsibility of the Sisters of Nazareth.”
Up to the 1960s, the state, it said, “was content to allow the Sisters to continue to proceed as before, relying solely on the funds they could raise from the Catholic community to cover their running costs”.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 03:41 PM

2/5...Spiritual needs

The HIA report found that “the development of Nazareth House and Nazareth Lodge was motivated by the drive on the part of the Roman Catholic Church to provide services for Catholic children, so that they would not need to be admitted to workhouses, state institutions or homes run by non-Catholic organisations where the Church felt that their spiritual needs might not be met appropriately”.

“This was a matter of considerable concern to the Roman Catholic Church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as there was some active proselytisation to attract children to become Protestants.”

The Sisters “wished to remain self-sufficient, in order to avoid becoming beholden to the state.

The consequence of the Sisters’ approach was that, while the nuns themselves received no salary and only required their keep, the Order had insufficient resources to appoint paid staff,” it said.

For most of the relevant decades it was a similar story in the residential institution for children run by the Sisters of Nazareth in Sligo.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 02:46 PM

3/5...1,851 children

On Thursday, July 22nd, 2004, Sr Cornelia Walsh of the Sisters of Nazareth told the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ryan Commission) that they had dealt with 1,851 children at their Sligo home between 1910 and its closure in 1993.

Allegations of physical and sexual abuse “against persons other than sisters” began to emerge in the mid-1990s, she said.

There were also allegations of “administration of harsh discipline by a Sister” and about the home itself.

These allegations had dismayed the congregation, she said.

In its 2009 report, the Ryan commission, having noted the Sisters of Nazareth operated a residential home for boys and girls in Sligo, commented starkly in one single line given a pararaph to itself (1.144) that: “The Sisters of Nazareth have not issued a public apology.”

The report noted, however, that the Sisters had contributed to the State redress scheme, quoting “Sr Cornelia Walsh, Sister Superior of the Congregation”.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 02:44 PM

4/5...‘Worthy’ initiative

She said: “We consider that the Government’s initiative in recognising the shared involvement of the State and those who sought to supplement and provide care which the State could not, was a very worthy one, particularly as it offered a non-adversarial and speedy avenue for those seeking and needing redress.”

At the HIA inquiry in Northern Ireland, the Sisters of Nazareth did apologise for the treatment of children at their homes in Belfast.

On January 15th, 2014, Turlough Montague QC, representing the Sisters, said members of the congregation were “appalled and shocked” by some of the testimonies.

On behalf of the Sisters, he apologised unreservedly “for any abuse suffered by children in their care”.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 02:42 PM

5/5...Serious problem

Where such residential institutions for children in the South were concerned, the 2009 Ryan report said: “The (State) Inspector found that malnourishment was a serious problem in schools run by nuns in the 1940s and, although improvements were made, the food provided in many of these schools continued to be meagre and basic.”

Despite that, State assistance to or involvement with such Church-run institutions remained a matter of deep suspicion where senior Catholic Church figures were concerned, right up to recent times.

In an address at the Humbert School in Castlebar, Co Mayo, on August 23rd, 2001, then Bishop of Ferns Brendan Comiskey said the Catholic Church “should have learned a long time ago to use a very long spoon in dealing with government”.

He said “the State’s tune is not, and should never be, the tune of any church” and that “a faith-based agency, in receipt of substantial State funding, will gradually become a place where the ‘volunteer’ will gradually be equated with ‘amateur’ and will become an oddity, and shortly a casualty, in an organisation of professionals,” he said.

Dealings between Church and State were “never a marriage of equals, there is no prenuptial agreement and the divorce proceedings can be very bitter and financially ruinous.

The history of Irish industrial schools is but one example”, he said.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 02:40 PM

1/2...Warning issued about deaths of 'illegitimate' children in 1945…

Committee member expressed concern that ‘children are allowed to die’

A warning about the level of infant mortality among illegitimate children in Northern Ireland was sounded in 1945.

The warning on the Church of Ireland home is included in the files on the North’s mother-and-baby homes that are available to view at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Proni).

Other files have been retained by religious orders.

In a letter to the North’s ministry of finance in 1945, Major David Anderson, the chairman of the committee of Hopedene Hostel for unmarried mothers and their children, raised concern about “the heavy mortality figures among illegitimate children” and 'illegitimate children are allowed to die'

He also asked for “sympathetic attention” to be given to his request for financial assistance for the home.

Mr Anderson said he believed that “for want of proper supervision, many unwanted babies die because of the indifference of those who look after them”.

This matter alone, he argued, “is worthy of government consideration and enquiry”.
Mr Anderson’s appeal for financial support for the home in Dundela Avenue in the Strandtown area of Belfast was rejected by the ministry, who suggested that he instead contact the ministry of health.

In response, Mr Anderson said that, as suggested, he would appeal to the maternity and child welfare committee of the city’s corporation.

But he stressed again that the infant mortality figures among illegitimate children “are alarming, leading one to the conclusion that many of these unwanted children are allowed to die”.


ANON Jun 16th, 2017 @ 02:36 PM

2/2...Salvation Army…

Another Proni file relates to the Salvation Army in Northern Ireland and contains correspondence between the organisation and the prime minister’s office.

One letter refered to the Salvation Army’s Thorndale House, a mother-and-baby home which was based at Duncairn Avenue in Belfast.

Written in 1959, it states that they “usually have about 40 girls in the home and 20 to 30 babies and young children”.

The Salvation Army was unable to supply other statistics or documents relating to its residential units for mothers and babies in Northern