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Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, Mandatory Reporting Child Rape

  1. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    People such as Cardinal Sean Brady and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams who has been forced to admit publicly that they concealed the rape of children could face prosecution under new child protection legislation to be introduced by Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter. While cowardly, Church friendly Fianna Fail promised such legislation in their 1997 election manifesto they preferred not to introduce the legislation and instead bailout religious child rapists with 1 Billion Euro of tax payers money.

    The publication of the Cloyne report represents “another dark day in the history of the response of church leaders to the cry of children abused by church personnel,” the Catholic Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady has said.

    In a statement released this afternoon Dr Brady said the report confirms “grave errors” of judgement occurred with serious “failures" of leadership.

    “This is deplorable and totally unacceptable,” he said. “I apologise and express my shame and sorrow at what has happened.”

    Although Dr Brady said the current church environment for children “is a totally different one to that of the past”, he called for the introduction of legislation to support mandatory reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse to the statutory authorities.

    Dr Brady said one of the positive aspects to come out of the report is the confirmation that the church-established structures of review and accountability have been proven to work effectively.

    However, the report states that a decision by the Vatican to brand a framework document on child sexual abuse, agreed by the Irish Bishops Conference in 1996, as “not an official document” effectively gave individual Irish bishops “the freedom to ignore” the guidelines.

    The Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Dermot Clifford said he is appalled by the “depth of damage and suffering” caused by a minority of clergy in the diocese.

    “Great pain was also caused to the families of those abused, whose strong relationship with the catholic church was damaged or destroyed.”

    Dr Clifford said the fact that 13 years after church guidelines were put in place they were still not being implemented in the diocese of Cloyne meant authorities “failed” some of those who were abused.

    Dr Clifford, who was appointed Apostolic Administrator to the Cloyne diocese after Bishop John Magee stepped aside in May 2009, apologised to all who suffered and their families.

    “It is a very sad day for all the priests and people in the diocese of Cloyne…We sincerely hope that our responses to complaints and the ongoing efforts in safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the diocese will go some of the way to atone for the grave failures of the past," he said. "Such failures must never be permitted to happen again."

    Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor said the report reminds the church of the need to remain “vigilant and self critical” to ensure that there can be no recurrence of these past “disgraceful failings”.

    “No words of apology from me for the culture of self protection in the Irish church at the expense of survivors of abuse can, in themselves, ease the pain of those who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the abuses of the past…Nevertheless, I apologise once again to all those who have suffered in any way.”

    He added that the first duty of the Church now is to listen to the “cry of survivors and help them to cope with the continuing pain with which they have been burdened by the sins of clergy.”

    “Although much has been done to advance safeguarding and many trained volunteers are now working very effectively in our parishes, we still have a way to travel to regain the full trust of the people,” he said.

    In a statement Bishop of Kilmore Leo O'Reilly said he felt a “great disappointment and dismay” that the authorities failed to implement agreed procedures leaving children at risk.

    “Their failure has compounded the suffering of those who have been abused and their families.”

    He said the report is a reminder of the necessity for bishops and those in authority to be vigilant and pro-active in ensuring that the safeguarding children procedures are “fully and consistently” implemented in dioceses.

    And he appealed for anyone with information regarding child sexual abuse by priests in the Kilmore diocese to make contact with a designated person, the Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive or a support service of their choice.

  2. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    Finally the Irish state is waking up to the fact that women/mothers committ heinious crimes as do men, traditionally women have been treated differently then men when it comes to crime. A 47-year-old mother has been sentenced to 24 years in prison with the final 16 years suspended for the cruelty and neglect of eight of her children over a seven-year period.

    The woman, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the children, pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court to eight sample charges of assaulting, ill-treating and neglecting the children in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to their health contrary to Section 246(1) and (2) of the Children’s Act, 2001.

    The offences took place at various locations around the country from May, 2002 to June, 2009.

    The charges relate to two of the woman’s sons and six of her daughters.

    Dete Sgt Kieran McNamara outlined the litany of physical abuse and torture which the woman subjected her young children to.

    Imposing sentence, Judge Raymond Groarke said it was incredible that the abuse could go on for so many years in a community with little or no intervention. He said what was described by Sgt McNamara was a life given over to actions of neglect, abuse and torture of the children.

    “These children were kept as prisoners by their mother. The girls’ hair was cut and they were not allowed to claim the dole lest they would have financial independence and run away. One child was beaten by the mother so that he would appear handicapped, so financial subvention would be given to the mother.

    “Not only were the children treated like slaves, but they were viewed by their mother as economic units and she was able to use the children to the best economic purpose that she could.

    “It’s quite impossible to know what the motivation is for this woman. She diverted the greater part of the family income away from the children and she has imposed a life sentence on them,” Judge Groarke said.

    He sentenced the woman to three years in prison on each charge to run consecutively. He suspended the final 16 years of the 24-year sentence, stating there was no need to impose conditions as he believed the woman could no longer harm her children on her release.

  3. CASE1WORKER profile image85
    CASE1WORKERposted 5 years ago

    Thankyou for these posts. Although it may be unpalatable child abuse happens in every town and every village. There will be  a family near you where it is happenning. Thank goodness that measures have been tightened up. However many abusers don't get caught until elderly owing to the fact that it can take to maturity for an abused child to stand up and say, "I was abused".
    The Cardinal and Gerry Adams should be made to answer. If any decent person knew something was happenning to a child we would be banging on the door of the police station, why not them?
    As for the mother- I don't understand, maybe I can understand neglect if the care of a large family is too much and you are poor and tired, but physical abuse and torture- no way. I think her sentence reflects the odious nature of her crimes .

  4. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    case1worker, thank you for your considered post, it is important to keep the pressure on, no longer can The Devils in Skirts dictate what is written, we all have the power now to make a difference, during the recent general election the Political Parties in Ireland spent a smuch on online advertising as they did by traditional means, that means they are seeing the power of the internet, keep up the good work smile

  5. TMMason profile image75
    TMMasonposted 5 years ago

    I believe there is probrably about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the Catholic Church higher-archy that should be in prison for the rest of their lives. Each time they hid a pervert... they allowed that scum to rape more children. That is on their heads and souls... and they should all be rounded up and thrown away.

  6. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    I would agree, in Ireland there was clear collusion between Church and State sad

  7. Ralph Deeds profile image70
    Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago

    The Cloyne report was long overdue. The Catholic Church was out to lunch on this issue, as well as on a number of others.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      The Catholic Church was not out to lunch - they did a very good job of covering it up for a very long time. 

      Maintaining the perfection of the church was the goal and if others were hurt in the process, oh well.  Collateral damage was inevitable, but the semblance of perfection was maintained.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
        Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Okay. I agree.

  8. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    This was a world wide phenomena within the Catholic Church, what does that tell us?

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image70
      Ralph Deedsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      The church needs to make sure its new procedures and civil laws are followed to the letter and perhaps revisit its prohibition of married priests and women priests. My impression is that sexual improprieties are less common in religions that allow priests to marry and those which allow women to have a role equal to that of men.

      The experience tells me that the church's failure to deal effectively with sexual improprieties by priests is that the church differs little from other large organizations--governments, corporations--in that its first instinct is to sweep the problem under the rug in order to protect the organization.

  9. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    Thanks Ralph, I am also posting below as I am very disappointed with the repsonse of Socal Workers in Ireland.

    Social Workers want an easy life with basic hours and inflated salaries, rather than a difficult life with out of hour’s child protection services and a heavy work load. To suggest that people should be allowed to conceal the rape of children in order not to over burden social workers is simply to allow statutory agencies to replace the oppressive position held by the Catholic Church. How dare social workers try to black mail the Government at this important juncture in Child Protection history. If social workers, many of whom are poorly qualified and lack international best practice qualifications in child protection do not wish to be over worked or worked to their full capacity, it may be time for the Irish government to look to International Child Protection agencies and employ those better qualified to do the job.
    SOCIAL WORKERS have expressed alarm that plans to introduce mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse could push over-stretched services towards breaking point.
    Under realistic and overdue new laws, failure to disclose information on child abuse will result in sanctions such as fines or jail terms.
    In addition, the national code on how to respond to child protection concerns – Children First – will be placed on a statutory footing. This will create a legal obligation for organisations, volunteers or professionals who work with children to report all suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.
    The Irish Association of Social Workers yesterday warned the new laws could end up doing more harm than good. “As it stands, the child protection system is not functioning properly. There are significant numbers of children without social workers or care plans,” said association spokeswoman Ineke Durville.
    This ridiculous statement by Ineke Durville, is a kin to suggesting that rapists should not be put in prison as we have an overcrowding problem. However, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said yesterday she was confident the child protection system could cope and that placing Children First on a statutory footing would make social services more efficient. The Minister backed by the Fine Gael lead Coalition appeared to face down sectional interests in the need to protect children and other vulnerable members of society.
    She also said the alternative to not introducing mandatory reporting was to tolerate a system where there had been on-going non-compliance with guidelines on dealing with suspected abuse or neglect.
    The Government has moved to strengthen child protection measures in the wake of the publication this week of the report on the handling of child abuse complaints in the diocese of Cloyne.
    The previous government opted not to introduce mandatory reporting on the basis that it could see leaders of the Catholic Church such as Cardinal Sean Brady behind bars for concealing the rape of children.