Tuesday 16 July 2013

Statement from Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.


“For those who were abused by Patrick McCabe the publication of the final sections of Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report will bring to life again for them horrific experiences. My comment made on the occasion of the publication of the major part of the Report of the Murphy Commission in November 2009 remains my sentiment today as the final section of the Report is published: 

“The hurt done to a child through sexual abuse is horrific. Betrayal of trust is compounded by the theft of self esteem. The horror can last a lifetime. Today, it must be unequivocally recalled that the Archdiocese of Dublin failed to recognise the theft of childhood which survivors endured and the diocese failed in its responses to them when they had the courage to come forward, compounding the damage done to their innocence. For that no words of apology will ever be sufficient.”

My concern today is with the victims of Patrick McCabe, those who have come forward to tell their stories and those for whom the pain of telling their story is still too raw. I think of the parents and the spouses and the children of the victims whose lives have also been damaged by what happened.

For those abused by Patrick McCabe, the wait for truth has been a long one. They rightly also feel that their fight for justice has been a long one and as I know from my meetings with some of the survivors, justice delayed compounded their suffering. I hope that today, with the publication of the full Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report some of their suffering will ease.

The Archdiocese of Dublin continues to receive information about allegations and concerns about Patrick McCabe, as about other men who ministered in this diocese and who were serial abusers of children. Any new information received by the Diocesan Child Safeguarding Service is shared with the civil Authorities and the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese of Dublin is aware of allegations against Patrick McCabe by over 30 named persons here and in the United States.

There are those who think that with the publication of the final chapter of the Murphy Report we can now draw a line under this dark period in the history of the church in Dublin. There are still those who would challenge the work of the Murphy Commission. I repeat that the Murphy Report represents and remains a true milestone which marks our history. What happened to children in the Church of Jesus Christ in the Archdiocese of Dublin is something that must never be forgotten. It is a part of the history of the Archdiocese and can never be whitewashed away. The Murphy Report is a document that must continue to guide and inform our protection policies today and into the future.

Thankfully, we have hundreds of dedicated and trained child safeguarding volunteers in our parishes, working tirelessly to ensure that children are as safe as possible in all areas of Church life.

That ongoing child protection work and the enormous change in structure and in attitude in the Church to the safeguarding of children, is a tribute to the courage and strength of those survivors who came forward to tell the truth of what happened to them in the past.”

Statement can be viewed on Archdiocesan website HERE

Monday 15 July 2013

Irish Times article - 15th July 2013 - Garda Commissioner expresses ‘regret’ at handling of abuse claims in Murphy report.

By Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent -  The Irish Times

A file was sent to the DPP “with a strong Garda recommendation that the young man be prosecuted for blackmail. Interest in the progress of this file extended to the top echelons of the Garda including the Commissioner’s office.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

RTE Radio - Morning Ireland - Coverage of Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report.

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent with The Irish Times, discusses the publication of the final chapter of the Murphy report into clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Bock the Robber coverage of the handling of my case.

Excerpt from full article

"....... In January 1977, a 14-year-old boy, James  Moran,  complained to the Archdiocese about a sexual assault by a priest, Patrick McCabe who called to a boarding school and introduced himself as a friend of the boy’s mother, with whom he had a vague, passing acquaintance.  He then assaulted the boy in his car for over an hour, and when the boy complained to the headmaster, he was again sexually assaulted.  The headmaster was later convicted of multiple instances of sexual abuse."

"Despite the headmaster’s behaviour, the school reported the complaint to the church authorities who sent a priest, Canon Ardle McMahon, to investigate.  It seems he believed the boy, but found the incident regrettable rather than criminal.  

Nothing in his report suggests that the police should be involved or alerted.

When interviewed,  McCabe cast himself as the innocent, taken aback by the aggressive sexual advances of the child.  He was so shocked, he claimed, that he sought the help of a psychiatrist.

Canon McMahon describes the attack as unbalanced emotionalism and later describes the victim’s claims as the evidence of one witness against the only other witness.

That was the end of it.  Dermot Ryan never followed up on McCabe’s activities and the psychiatrist was never identified......."

"........ In 1987, James Moran, now a young man in his mid-twenties, approaches Stenson, looking for compensation.  He threatens to go public and take legal action.

So far, so good.   The young man is clearly angry and hurt, but then he goes to his former school in Kildare where he meets the current headmaster and demands compensation under threat of media exposure  for the damage done by McCabe and also by the former headmaster, also a convicted abuser.

What happens?

The priest-headmaster complains the young man to the Gardai and alleges blackmail.  The Gardai launch an exhaustive and comprehensive investigation, not of the sexual abuse but of the victim.  They tap his phone and make comments about him and his antecedents which in the Commission’s view are scurrilous.  They send a file to the DPP with a strong recommendation that the young man be prosecuted for blackmail.
Only when the DPP refuses to proceed do the Gardai finally begin to investigate the original abuse case, but even then, they do it shabbily, haphazardly and in time-honoured ramshackle Garda fashion.  This is not an investigation on principle, but simply because the top brass are embarrassed and want it buried as fast as possible.

The investigating Garda takes a statement from Moran.  Other Gardai interview the headmaster alleged to have committed the second assault (and later convicted of multiple offences), they interview Stenson but by then, McCabe is laicised and out of the clergy.

It comes to nothing, but a young man is further traumatised by an aggressive investigation and an official attempt to destroy his good name......... "

My initial reaction to Chapter 20 release

So the wait for the release of Chapter 20 is over and 48 hours have passed since it's release. I am still digesting the contents. All I could do until now, is imagine and read between the lines of the previously released parts.

I never for one moment expected to be faced with the revelations contained within it.

I never saw myself as a criminal worthy of such Garda interest.

I never believed that wanting to be acknowledged as a victim of clerical sexual abuse would warrant what turns out to be a witch hunt by the very people I expected to serve and  protect me and my family.

I never thought for one moment that by threatening to make my experience public would cause such a stir that my phone would be tapped.

I never expected to be such a priority for the Gardai that an 'exhaustive investigation' would be undertaken into me and a close personal interest taken in me, by the Commissioner of the Irish Police force.

I never could have foreseen a time in my life when I would be the subject of a 'strongly worded' recommendation from the Gardai to the Director of Public Prosecutions, that I should be prosecuted for blackmail.

I never envisaged a system where a victim of crime is viewed as the perpetrator of crime in the eyes of the law.

I never imagined for one moment, that by telling the truth and trying to prevent others having similar experiences, I could land myself and my family in so much trouble with the authorities.

I never wanted to live in a country where doing the right thing was so wrong.

I never cease to be amazed how an organisation and culture can be influenced to the extent that all sense of morality, honesty and integrity plays second fiddle to deceit, cover-up and self preservation.

I never really wanted any of this to dominate my life for the past 37 years but these revelations have shocked, saddened and disappointed me beyond what I could have imagined. How many others have unwittingly been the subject of phone tapping and exhaustive investigation?....for doing the right thing.

RTE NEWS - No prosecution of gardaí over paedophile priest

RTE NEWS - 13th July 2013

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said no prosecution is to be taken against current or former gardaí who connived with the Catholic Church to protect paedophile former priest Patrick McCabe.

The Commissioner was responding to the Murphy Commission's finding that a previous commissioner had taken a personal interest in pursuing a blackmail complaint against McCabe's first known victim and that the man's phone was tapped.

In a statement tonight, the commissioner told RTÉ News that following a garda investigation into the force's handling of the McCabe case, the DPP had decided that no prosecution was to be taken against current or former gardaí.

He said it is a matter of regret to him personally that people did not receive the appropriate attention and action from gardaí to which they were entitled.

In 1977, the then Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Ryan, was told that a 14-year-old boy had been sexually abused by McCabe at his boarding school. It was also alleged that when the boy complained to his headmaster, a member of a religious order, he also abused the boy.

A church investigator told Archbishop Ryan the complaint was well-founded, but nothing was done.
Ten years later in 1987, the first complainant against the paedophile priest came forward again to the diocese demanding compensation from McCabe "for ruining his life". He wanted McCabe reprimanded and to prevent him from abusing others, or otherwise the victim would sell his story to the media.

A priest at the man's former school complained the victim was blackmailing him. An exhaustive and comprehensive garda investigation followed into the blackmailing allegation that went all the way to the then commissioner's desk.

But the Director of Public Prosecutions refused to prosecute.

Only then did gardaí begin an investigation of the victim's original complaint of sexual assault.

CLICK HERE to see the article and see the video report on the RTE website.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Further delay and disappointment.

The High Court hearing took place yesterday in Dublin. The Judge asked for affidavits to be submitted and will convene another High Court hearing on 3rd July to make a decision on release of Chapter 20. The only way I can describe it is sheer disappointment and disillusion.

The Department of Justice refuse to engage in any kind of dialogue with me.

Thankfully, One in Four keep me updated with any developments. It makes such a difference to know that someone is on our side, and www.oneinfour.ie, an organisation within the Irish establishment, is not afraid to put it's head above the parapet and seek the truth.

Another 3 weeks of limbo.....and I don't mean dancing!

Saturday 8 June 2013

Wall of Silence.

My Email to Mr Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, sent on my return from delivering the petition. I felt it was important for him to know:
A) Why the petition is of such importance for myself and many others.
B) Failure to communicate with me only serves to deepen my feeling of abandonment by the Irish state.
I have yet to receive a response.
"Dear Mr Shatter
I decided to write today to give you an insight as to why this subject is such a huge part of my life and the lives of those who love me. 
I visited your office yesterday, with the support of family members, friends and Deirdre Kenny (advocacy Director of One in Four). We came with a petition and a message for the Irish Government to release chapter 20 of The Murphy Report. A few weeks ago I set up a petition to have Chapter 20 released and over one thousand people from Ireland and worldwide have taken time to sign it. Although it is very important to me, it is obviously important to many others.
As you are aware, The Murphy report was released in November 2009 after years of investigation and at a cost of 3.5 million Euros. Parts of Chapter 20 were redacted because of prosecutions before the courts. I am informed these cases have been dealt with and I trust there should now be no legal impediment to its immediate release.
With my parents love and support, I made a statement to Archbishops House 37 years ago and then to the Gardai 27 years ago giving details of my abusers. We, as a family never heard another word from Church or State. My parents were left to fend for themselves, lost, shocked and confused, as I was.  We had no support or help, in trying to understand what had happened and no guidance as to the affects it may have on our family or me as an individual. We were told “not to talk about it and it would go away”. In effect, we were abandoned by the very institutions we respected.
When as a family or as a child, we are told not to talk about such life altering events these words stay with you and are imprinted on your mind. For years I couldn’t talk about it because of the shame, the fear and the guilt. I can now talk about it and I shouldn’t be afraid anymore. All I have ever asked for and what I am asking for now, is to be told by someone in authority that Chapter 20 will be released without delay. Two Months ago I wrote to you requesting if the High Court hearing could be brought forward? I had no response. Two weeks ago I wrote again and requested a five minute meeting with you, to just seek your reassurance that you are anxious to see Chapter 20 released; again I was saddened not to have had a response. I spoke to your office twice last week and was told you would respond by the end of last week as" there was quite a lot going on".  This wall of silence gives me little confidence after 37 years. Is this the same silence I have lived with all my life? Is it the silence that has prevailed within Irish society for decades, the same silence that goes to the very heart of the clerical sexual abuse scandal?  No-one can tell me not to talk about it anymore because it doesn’t go away. For me and thousands like me, including their loved ones, it never goes away. What happened to me had a devastating effect on my life and the lives of those around me. Chapter 20 is not just a chapter from some fictional work that’s left on a library shelf in the hope that someone will read it. This is about a chapter of Irish life and the lives of real Irish children, who were unfortunate enough to find themselves caught up in a society where it feels like innocence was dispensable, honesty was ignored, respect was ill-founded and the welfare of children was irrelevant.
My 1977 and 1987 statements were apparently discovered by the Gardaí in 2003. To this day I don’t know how they were acted upon or what investigations took place when I made them.  If my statements lay undiscovered for all those years then I have a right to know why. Is it because I wasn’t believed, or was I believed but greater forces decided in their wisdom, that the truth was unpalatable.
Before she died, my Mother tried to speak to as many people in authority as she could, to tell them what happened to me and seek acknowledgement, she was ignored. Perhaps her dignity was perceived as weakness and if lip service was paid to her often enough she would stop looking for answers. If she were alive, she would have proudly stood beside us yesterday in the knowledge that as a Mother she did what was right. As one of so many clerical abuse victims, I did what was right 37 years ago by reporting what happened, in the hope that someone, somewhere, would listen, believe, and act upon the information with honesty and integrity.
The last redacted Chapter (19) was released within a week of final prosecution. It is nearly 3 months since the final prosecution in Chapter 20. It is of great importance to so many people that Chapter 20 is released without further delay.
As a family, we did what we could and did what was right in 1977, I trust the decision makers who gather in the Irish High Court next Tuesday 11th June, will also do what is right. 
Respectfully Yours
James Moran"

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Elation or deflation? Petition delivered.

We arrived at the the Department for Justice and Equality on St Stephen's Green, Dublin to deliver the petition. We were accompanied by Deirdre Kenny - Advocacy Director  www.oneinfour.ie, whose help has been invaluable. There was a photographer from the Irish Independent waiting to 'capture the moment'.

After 5 minutes I ventured up the steps, feeling nervous and went through the revolving doors to reception. The box containing the signatures felt very light but at times it felt like lead. To me it was much more than a box of papers. It was a box of memories, triggers, flashbacks, trial appearances, and other associated negativity. On the other hand it was full of love, support, encouragement and hope.

The receptionist accepted the box when I asked if it could be delivered to Mr Shatter. Who can say whether she had been expecting us? There was no sense of surprise or curiosity. The rest of the group arrived into reception and we asked if Minister Shatter was available but she said that we needed to write in for an appointment. I said I had written but had no response. I couldn't describe the exchange or the atmosphere as warm. After lots of blank stares and moments of awkwardness we did an about turn and the door started to revolve again as we exited.

I'm not sure if I was elated or deflated. Even now a couple of days later I am still not sure. The only thing I am sure of is, we did what we could. Every single person who signed the petition deserved to see that the petition reached it's destination and will find it's way to the person intended.

I may have been nervous whilst delivering it but I was surrounded by lots of love and support. I know my Mother would also be proud to have stood there as it would have been the culmination of much door knocking for her also.

So now we wait for the High Court hearing on Tuesday next and hope that this whole sorry saga will be viewed with one eye on history and the other on transparency.