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.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Coffin for a Cause.

I have written to the Irish Justice Minister a couple of times now and it saddens me that I have had no response. All I have ever asked for and all I am asking for now is for someone in authority to tell me that Chapter 20 will be published without any further delay. After 37 years what does someone have to do? However this is not to be and therefore we will travel to Dublin tomorrow, 5th June to deliver the petition in person. We won't get to meet anyone of note so it may just entail leaving the Petition at a reception desk and they can choose what to do with it. I imagine it will be taken very carefully, possibly by 2 or more security personnel and placed very delicately on the desk of Mr Shatter in readiness for him to read every signature at his earliest convenience!!

Boxing up the signatures this evening was strange in a couple of ways.Firstly that over a thousand people think it's as important as I do to see Chapter 20 published and they have shown so much support throughout the process. Secondly it's almost like most of what defines me is in a box. Maybe not most but certainly a considerable amount of what my life has been about for many years. It's like a 'coffin for a cause'. This in turn is a good thing because it means the last 4 months of pestering people and all the constant reminders can be buried and the soul of the petition is now in the hands of a greater power. I have nothing more to contribute as to whether or not Chapter 20 is released. 50 plus pages of signatures will hopefully bring some pressure to bear on whoever has that final decision.

So it's off to Dublin we go for the quickest trip known to man. We arrive about 3.30pm and leave again around 5.30pm but it's not a sightseeing tour we are going for, the emphasis must be on the task at hand.

This petition may seem as if it's all about me but there are many of us involved in Chapter 20. I however have chosen to speak out, both for myself, but also for the ones who for whatever reason, cannot speak for themselves. So on behalf of everyone involved a great big thank you for your support and kindness.

The petition is still running, and with every signature, an email is generated to both Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice and An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. If you would still like to show your support click here to sign.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Is patience always a virtue?

After 37 years of waiting and the degree of recent press exposure, I thought there would be a modicum of understanding from the Irish authorities toward my situation. I would class myself as a patient person in many ways. I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to others even when there is a voice somewhere within, telling me to do otherwise.

Since Patrick McCabe was sentenced on 22nd March, it has been a complete whirlwind of emotion and I have tried to underplay it as best I can in the interests of self preservation, selfishly. Everywhere I turn there are triggers. Some self inflicted because of running the petition and because triggers of past experiences are now part of my DNA.

I have been patient since I gave my first statement to Archbishop's House in 1977. I was patient when I saw my mother crying so often in pure frustration because she didn't know what to do for the best and there was no help or support for her. I was patient for the 10 year period from 2003-2013 whilst McCabe was extradited from the U.S. and brought to Justice. I was patient when the Irish authorities told me that there was nothing more could be done to prosecute my other abuser. I was patient throughout my 5 trips to Dublin (within a six month period) for the trial. I was patient when McCabe's plea was accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions. I am now TRYING to be patient whilst waiting for Chapter 20 of the Murphy report to be released.

Lots of dates and numbers, lots of gaps and timelines. They don't mean very much to anyone except me. This has been my life. Of course I have had good times and I am tired of measuring moments in my life against abuse triggers such as arrest dates,extradition dates, court appearance dates, sentencing dates and scheduled dates for the release of Chapter 20. I was 12 when I was first abused. The day of my 50th birthday was spent travelling to Ireland for McCabe's sentencing. Unacceptable.

All I ever wanted was to believe that someone, somewhere, had my best interests at heart and what happened to me was wrong and it mattered. After all the fury and disgust displayed by the Catholic Church and the Irish Government over the past 10 years, someone would demonstrate that although I was a very small cog in a very large wheel, someone, somewhere cared.

However I feel the exact opposite.

I am proud to be Irish and although I live in Britain I will always be a proud Irishman. The funny thing is my pride is being eroded as time goes by and the feeling of abandonment becomes more apparent. I am not seeking any grand gestures, just acknowledgement of simple requests or at the very least acknowledgement of my existence.

I have written to the Justice Minister in Ireland on three occasions. I had a response to the first and no response to the last two. I am not jumping up and down demanding the impossible. I am requesting answers to simple questions and if they cannot be answered then just tell me or at least acknowledge that I have asked them. Please don't ignore me. Please don't ignore any of the victims of sexual abuse, especially now because all we hear is how things have changed. Really? ......Really?

I am patient, but after 37 years of patience and being ignored, I am getting tired of feeling unsupported, uncared for and worst of all an Irishman unimportant to Irish State.

Basically what I am trying to say is that every citizen of every country has a patriotic streak, to a greater or lesser extent and if a citizen wishes to ignore it - that's a choice. I however love Ireland and the Irish. The fact I am the product of my past is something for me to deal with, albeit painful.

I didn't choose to be Irish but am proud to be. It feels like I have been running away from it, crying about it or fighting it all my adult life. Insane as it may sound, I suppose I yearn for the day when I feel Ireland is proud of me. Something tells me that's the impossible dream. What I want to talk about is not some fictitious story from a dark and distant past, a past that lots of us would rather forget. Believe me, I would rather forget it, but my memories don't afford me that luxury.

I will not be making any further requests or asking any further questions of the Irish Government at this stage.

My email correspondence is shown below:

My first email to the Minister for Justice
My email asking for an earlier hearing -  Ignored

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Thank you ALL!

Today we reached our goal of 1,000 signatures to the petition. Thank you to everyone who took time from their day to help. It's difficult to express gratitude except to say thank you and sometimes it's difficult to accept a thank you because we may feel it's undeserved. Looking through the list of people that have given me their support, there are of course names I recognise, past and present. There are also hundreds of people  I have never met.

It is quite overwhelming to see such real unconditional goodness in people. There are only a handful of us involved in chapter 20 but that has not been the issue for the hundreds of people from all over the world who have signed. Everyone has seen the principle at stake. The only gain is transparency and the wish of so many, including myself to determine what happened after I made my statements to the authorities 37 years ago.

A petition is no popularity contest, but as the figure increased, I couldn't help feeling the groundswell of support, through the signatures and the comments.It made me realise that the cause is real and it is important. It's not only important to me but it is important to many people, those involved in safeguarding children, survivors and victims, parents, carers and those who may have very little involvement with children but are heavily involved with the pursuit of an honest and open society.

Signing a petition doesn't take a lot of time but it takes a decision to do it. It's only one name but if people are interested and care enough about the subject ( or the person behind it ) then every single name is vitally important.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that I offer a 'THANK YOU' and all I ask in return is that it's proudly accepted. We achieved and surpassed our goal and every single one who cared had their part to play.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

37 Year Wait - Update....

In Mid-April I sent an email to the Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice in Ireland, requesting an earlier hearing date for the release of chapter 20 of the Murphy Report. I received an email by return, acknowledging receipt, but nothing else. 

My petition for the release of chapter 20 is now at a crucial point - I now require just over 100 signatures to reach my target of 1,000. Those who have taken the time to sign include many friends, family and fellow survivors. I can not thank you enough. Given the lack of response from the Minister for Justice - I may now need the petition more than ever. If you can think of anyone you know who may want to sign it, please click HERE and spread the word!

My Facebook page has over 100 'likes' and so many of my friends and family have helped spread the word about my Murphy Report petition. Thank you everyone. I also now have over 200 followers on Twitter, many of whom have been great support. The moment I tweet something, there is a steady stream of retweets! It is so nice to know that there are people out there willing to help in any way they can. 

Last week, I had a very productive meeting with my local Member of Parliament, Edward Timpson, who also happens to be the Children's Minister here in the UK. He was incredibly helpful and supportive, and pledged to do all he could to help. He does a lot of work with the NSPCC, both locally and nationally, so I hope I can do something in return.

Thank you again to each and every one of you that have supported me in any way.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My online petition: Ireland - Release Chapter 20 of The Murphy Report

I now need just over 200 signatures to reach my target figure of 1,000. Signing will help me keep pressure on the Irish Government to release the final, censored chapter of the Murphy Report.

The criminal proceedings to which the contents of Chapter 20 refer, are now over. I can see no reason why this chapter should not now be released. I would like to know the reasons why justice has taken 37 years. 
Chapter 20 must be released.

Please CLICK HERE to sign my petition. If you have already signed it, please spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Many thanks!

To find out more about the Murphy Report, CLICK HERE
To see Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report in it's redacted form, CLICK HERE

Monday, 29 April 2013

Closure ?

Everyone talks about closure as if there will be a tangible, light bulb moment when it happens, or begins to happen. What should it feel like? Does it begin after a trial, after an apology, after acknowledgement or even perhaps after a compensation payment. I have spent the last 10 years in counselling and the ultimate aim was 'closure'.

When I last wrote about this post-trial period and how it was different than I had imagined, I still believed it was a period of closure, principally because that is what I had imagined it to be.

I have spoken with my counsellor many times about it and perhaps even when I should expect it. What form does it take?  Would I be aware of it as it happens? Will it make me feel very different? Will I be able to cope with life after 'closure'?

Whilst visiting my GP 2 weeks ago, he asked me how things were and I told him how I was feeling. I mentioned the 'C' word. He asked me what closure was? He asked me why I needed it? He asked me why I couldn’t live a normal life, running parallel to my past? Because the likelihood is that I will not forget what happened and it will always be part of me and part of my life. I was slightly stunned. Not because he was blunt but because that was perhaps the start of something new. An acceptance… or dare I say 'closure' in the form of acceptance.

The truth is I now firmly believe that there is no such thing as closure. There is, however a way of functioning normally. Whilst not forgetting the past, the future must take priority and we have to remember that our legacy is of our own making. The fact that we don’t wear our past on our sleeve doesn’t mean there’s no story to tell. The fact we wear a smile doesn’t mean there’s no sadness. The fact that there are positives in our lives does not eradicate the negatives. The truth is that all of the stories, sadness and negatives are still there but they have been assigned to a place where they belong, THE PAST.

I don’t want to be defined as a victim of clerical sexual abuse. Yes its part of what formed me but that doesn’t mean it must define me. It has made me what I am (whatever that may be) but it is not all I am.

The irony here for me is the quest for 'closure' only extends the anxiety in the search for it. It is a self- perpetuating road to nowhere. I am in the process of accepting that my memories will be with me forever and although that’s difficult to accept it’s also quite refreshing. It’s a different view, even a brighter view, because I am not allowing events of the past to control me, and everything I do.

The fact is that everyone has a story to tell but some will let it define them and others won’t. Some will find it easier than others and some will find that it’s not an approach for them to take. I, on the other hand will make a start and see where it takes me. God knows I have tried everything else and the only one who will create a legacy for me is myself, (with the help and support of those who love me).

So as for the apologies, the acknowledgements, the trials and all the compensation payments, they are all part of a process of acceptance, all part of a process of greater understanding of self and others and all part of a wider public awareness. None of them either alone or collectively will allow anyone to forget. They will however allow us to live our lives with pride and dignity which has eluded us for so long.

I am not saying accept it and move on…. I am saying accept it as best you can and live a little!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Thanks to everyone who has signed my petition. I have now reached the 750 signature mark. Just 250 to go to my 1,000 name target! If you can, please find a few seconds to sign or share it with your friends and family.

Every signature means so much to me, as each one helps me to keep pressure on the Irish Government to ensure that Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report IS released.


Friday, 19 April 2013

Responses from State and Church.

On hearing that the publication of Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report was facing a delay, I wrote to various heads of State and Church.

Some of them have responded. Some haven't. There is still no change to the mid-June date for the hearing in the High Court in Dublin, to decide details of Chapter 20's publication.

Below are some quotes from various correspondence I have received:

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster - "I do not have influence with the Irish Government. I am travelling to Ireland in the next ten days and will speak to episcopal colleagues there about the matter you have raised."

From President Michael D Higgins' Secretary - "The president has asked me to explain that, while he has received many requests from people for assistance or intervention, he regrets that the nature of his role as President is such that he cannot intervene in or make representations about matters which come within the remit of the Government, the Courts or indeed, any of the institutions of the State which might have responsibility for the area to which your letter relates."

Senator David Norris - "I am genuinely sorry to hear that you have been the victim of clerical sexual abuse and can only imagine how horrific it must have been. I do hope that you receive some relief from knowing that the perpetrators are receiving their just rewards. Regarding highlighting your concern that the last chapter of the Murphy Report be released i shall certainly do my best to draw the attention of the Government to this whether it be in the Seanad chamber or else where. Please be assured of my support"

Archbishop Charles J. Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland - "Please know that I am committed to doing everything possible to promote the compassion, real understanding and willingness to change which you refer to so movingly in your letter."

Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh - "I am sorry to hear of the abuse you suffered at the hands of Patrick McCabe. I am glad that you got consolation from being remembered in Archbishop Martin's homily at the Chrism Mass and from your earlier meeting with him. My impression was that the final redacted chapter of the Murphy Report will be released. I share your view that the changes that have taken place are only a beginning and that the work of safeguarding and healing must continue."

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny - "The Taoiseach has noted the points you raised. He has copied your correspondence to his colleague Mr. Alan Shatter T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality for his consideration"

Mr Alan Shatter T.D, Minister for Justice via Secretary - "The position is that the Chapter 20 material has been withheld from publication on foot of a direction from the High Court in accordance with proceedings under section 38 of the Commissions of Investigation Act. These proceedings are due to be heard again in Court on 11 June. I can assure you the Minister is anxious to see that part of the report published as quickly as possible subject to the requirements of the legislation."

I have now written again, to Alan Shatter, TD - Minister for Justice, requesting that the final redacted chapter, Chapter 20 of the Murphy report be released earlier than the 11th of June. I have also requested that prior to publication, myself, and the other affected parties, are permitted to see the relevant contents.

By signing my petition CLICK HERE TO SIGN, you are helping me to keep pressure on the Government of Ireland to release this incredibly important document in a timely manner. Please help.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me so far.....

Thank you to everyone who has signed my online petition for Ireland to release Chapter 20 of The Murphy Report. Your support is amazing.

If you would like to sign it - PLEASE CLICK HERE!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Please sign my online petition, Ireland - Release Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report.

Bittersweet emotions. The past week has been tough.

The bicycle - Albert Einstein

I had imagined this post-trial period would be different. Since 2003 the judicial process was underway.The culmination of this process would hopefully give me a different view of my life. For me, the trial and the release of the Murphy report went hand in hand, as I was led to believe that it would be published straight after. I am disappointed that this has not happened, in fact it’s much greater than disappointment. There have been difficult times over the last 2 weeks.

I didn't think for one minute that the trial was going to be some magic bullet and my life would suddenly become ‘normal'. I did, however think this time would be different from before. Maybe if the petition wasn’t running then it would be. We are where we are.

I am also reminded that there is goodness within people that perhaps I never knew existed to the extent I do now. Friends, Family, Phil and people I have never met, are taking time to sign the petition and share it with those around them. People I have never met are taking time to send messages of support and contained within those messages is a greater awareness around the subject of sexual abuse. This of course is central to me waiving my right to anonymity, and central to my campaign in having the Murphy Report released in its entirety.

I feel so encouraged by the support and I know I must continue. With great appreciation to everyone and a renewed vigour we will reach our target together.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

10,000 mile Road to Change - One brave man's amazing challenge to help stop child sexual abuse.

The Road to Change is a 10,000mile walk visiting 31 of the capital cities in the European Union (EU) by foot, to raise awareness about child sexual abuse (CSA) build solidarity between organizations and communities, support survivors, and influence social and political change. Matthew McVarish, European Ambassador for ‘Stop the silence, stop child sexual abuse inc’ in Washington DC, will be walking the road to change alone. The road begins in London, starting on May 31st 2013, and ends in Edinburgh February 2015, 18 months later. .  10,000 MILES!

Matthew's 10,000 mile route.

Matthew on a previous challenge

Matthew needs your support. Whether you can offer him corporate sponsorship or a private donation (no matter how small!), please do. If you are anywhere on his route - why not offer him a bed for the night, or even join in and walk a section of his gruelling trek with him!

You can find all the information you might need on his website: ROAD TO CHANGE

A breath of fresh air......

Thank you for all your support thus far. Much appreciated, James

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Word cloud - Chapter 20 - Murphy Report

Word cloud - made from the (thus far) known contents of Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report. Will be interesting to see how this changes once the full contents are revealed. It will be nice to see the word 'redacted' no longer feature......

Friday, 5 April 2013

New! Online petition for the release of Chapter 20 of the Murphy Report.


Chapter 20 is the last remaining, censored chapter in Judge Yvonne Murphy's report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by the Catholic Church and State. 
Chapter 20 has remained censored on foot of a High Court direction that its full publication could damage the trial of a defrocked priest charged with the sexual assault of children in the 1970s and 80s.
Former priest Patrick McCabe was sentenced last month by the Circuit Criminal Court. As a result of his trial, there is now no further need for the blanked-out chapter to remain secret.
My name is James Moran, and I am one of the survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of McCabe. I made a statement to Archbishops House in 1977. I made a statement to the Gardai (Irish Police) in 1987. Both statements were about my sexual abuse by Priests. My statements surfaced in 2003.
The Murphy Report will reveal the truth about why my statements lay undiscovered for several decades. During these years Patrick McCabe was allowed to travel abroad undetected and unmonitored.
I, and the other victims of Patrick McCabe have a right to know what is contained within Chapter 20, in order to put that part of our life’s jigsaw together. The victim’s lives are now in the public domain through the Murphy Report and we have a right, by association, to know the truths contained within.
37 Years is a lifetime of waiting. Enough is enough.

CLICK HERE to sign my petition now.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Irish Times article 02 April 2013 - Misplaced guilt.

Irish Times - 02 April 2013 - CLICK TO READ
The destructive power of unjustified guilt in sex abuse cases has been demonstrated again and again. Last month we saw yet another example when a former priest, Patrick McCabe, was convicted of sexually abusing two boys in the 1970s.
One of the telling aspects of the case was a statement by one of the victims, now 50, who said that in the aftermath of the abuse he felt he had failed his family.

I think it is of great importance for those who are abused and for their relatives to understand that inappropriate guilt is a feature of these acts of criminality both for abused children and for adults who are sexually abused by other adults. The destructive effects of such emotions are mentioned again and again in the aftermath of abuse cases. It may be that sense of guilt and shame that drives some abused people towards suicide or other self-destructive behaviours.

Sexual abuse is a shameful act and there is something in us as humans that feels tainted even though we have been the unwilling objects of a shameful act by another. This may be due to our psychological defensive system. Imagine that you provide security for a building and that the building is robbed. The guilt for this act belongs to those who have planned and carried out the robbery. But a focus of the inquiry that immediately begins will be, why didn’t the defences work? One could even imagine the person who was in charge of the security system feeling a certain amount of inappropriate guilt about the robbery. This is an example of how being the victim of abuse could actually lead a person to feel a sense of inappropriate guilt.

Possible culprit
The other possible culprit for this sense of inappropriate guilt is that part of the mind which is so quick to go on the attack when anything goes wrong.
Notice some of the really harsh things you say to yourself over the smallest mistakes or stumbles in your day. Most of us, if we really listen to these things and reflect on them can be astonished by the harshness of these self judgements. In my opinion, these harsh self judgements play a role in depression and suicide – and indeed we very often hear of suicidal thinking and suicidal behaviour as a feature of the damage done by sexual abusers. That harsh critic in the mind will attack the person who has been subjected to sexual abuse. This critic has nothing to do with conscience or indeed with logic. It can be irrational and cruel and all the more distressing for all of that. And because sexuality is at the very depth of our being that voice of guilt and of shame can be astonishingly deep.

One of the victims of McCabe said he had “experienced every emotion associated with self-loathing”. Even worse than that, perhaps, this man feels guilt for the deaths of his parents when they were only in their 50s and who seem to have suffered from that same poisonous, inappropriate guilt. “They had tried to give me a good foundation for my future and instead they felt responsible for sending me into a lion’s den,” he told the court in his victim impact statement. The part of the mind would attack you in this way was called by Freud “the superego”. It is terribly important to understand that the superego is an irrational, malfunctioning and dangerous part of the mind. 

Painful feature
What is worth taking out of all this is the realisation that persons subjected to abuse, assault and especially sexual exploitation suffer enormously from inappropriate guilt and shame. It is important that the persons feeling this guilt and shame understand that it is inappropriate and that they should not allow this to stop them from seeking help. It is also very important that those who seek to support such persons be aware of this very destructive and very painful feature of abuse.

Padraig O’Morain (pomorain@yahoo.com) is a counsellor accredited by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. His Light Mind – Mindfulness for Daily Living book is published by Veritas. His monthly mindfulness newsletter is available free by email

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Weekend letter writing, requesting support for release of Chapter 20

This weekend, I have written to as many influential people I can think of that may be able to bring some influence to bear on the relevant authorities.

All the victims mentioned in Chapter 20 have the right to know what happened with their relevant cases. My case has been investigated by the Murphy commission and by association I have been investigated too. I feel I have the right to know what happened to my 1977 statement made to Archbishops House and my 1987 statement made to the Gardai (Irish Police).

I have written to the following people, all the letters are similar in message but applicable to the recipients particular relevance. Sample letter below.

  • Irish Minister for Justice, Mr Alan Shatter.
  • President of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D.Higgins.
  • An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD (Prime Minister of Ireland).
  • Archbishop Of Dublin, The most reverend Diarmuid Martin.
  • Cardinal Sean Brady, Catholic Primate of all Ireland.
  • Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster.
  • Achbishop Charles Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland
  • His Excellency Archbishop Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome
  • Senator David Norris,Independent Irish Senator and civil rights activist.

Scan of letter to Cardinal Sean Brady - March 2013 - Page 1

Scan of letter to Cardinal Sean Brady - March 2013 - Page 2

Email to Irish Minister for Justice

This is a copy of the email sent to Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

"27/03/2013 09:05

Dear Mr Shatter

My Name is James Moran. I was a witness for the state at a recent clerical sexual abuse trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

It involved an ex Priest named Patrick McCabe. I am just one of his victims. He is one of two priests that sexually abused me around 1977.

I have waited 37 years for my case to get to court and on the 22nd March he walked from court a free man.

The sentencing of McCabe paves the way for the release for the final chapter of the Murphy report.

My case was the final one to go before the courts, in which McCabe is mentioned so I see no legal impediment to its long awaited release.

Can you please inform me if a date has been fixed for the release of Chapter 20.

Respectfully Yours

James Moran"

Murphy report - Chapter 20 - Irish media pressing for release.

Sunday Independent 31st March

Censored section in Murphy sex abuse report set to be published
A censored chapter in Judge Yvonne Murphy's report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by the Catholic Church and State is finally set for full publication.
Chapter 20 has remained censored on foot of a High Court direction that its full publication could damage the trial of a defrocked priest charged with the sexual assault of children in the 1970s and 80s.
Former priest Patrick McCabe was sentenced last week by the Circuit Criminal Court after having pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting two 13-year-old boys.
Although sentenced by Judge Margaret Heneghan to two concurrent 18-month jail terms, he walked free from the court because he had already been in custody for longer than the sentences handed down.
As a result of his trial, there is now no further need for the blanked-out chapter to remain secret.
McCabe was extradited from California in June 2011 and had been in custody for 21 months awaiting sentence. His identity could not be revealed last year when he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting five other boys.
The handling of complaints made against McCabe was the subject of chapter 20 in the Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin diocese, chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy and known as the Murphy Report.
The inquiry was set up by Government to investigate how church and State handled clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Dublin diocese between 1975 and 2004.
The report examined the handling of complaints made against a representative sample of 46 priests, though complaints had been levelled against more than 100. The report was published in 2009.
Chapter 19, also censored for similar legal reasons, was not published until the sentencing in 2010 of Tony Walsh, "probably the most notorious" abuser, according to the report.
Among the 50 pages of chapter 20, many of which were published blank, it was stated that the McCabe case "encapsulates everything that was wrong" with the Dublin diocese's handling of child sexual abuse cases.
According to the report, Archbishop Ryan not only knew about the complaints against McCabe but had "protected him to an extraordinary extent. . . It seems that the welfare of children simply did not play any part in his decisions", it stated.
Judge Murphy went on to state that "connivance by the gardai in effectively stifling one complaint and failing to investigate another, and in allowing [McCabe] to leave the country was shocking".
Following McCabe's sentencing, one of his victims, James Moran, waived his right to anonymity.
He said on Wednesday that he was alarmed to discover it could be months before the remainder of the Murphy Report was published.
Mr Moran said the legal reasons for withholding parts of chapter 20 no longer existed, and he had written to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter asking him for the date of release.
No further victims of McCabe are due to come before the courts, so there are no implications for the Murphy Report, Mr Moran said.
"Surely the time to release it is now, so the Irish people and the wider world will discover the truth, even if unpalatable," he said.
In a victim impact statement submitted to the court, Mr Moran said his voice was being heard after a long and painful journey.
"I have waited nearly 37 years for acknowledgment and justice," he said, adding that he often thought of all the victims who had been too afraid or too ashamed to come forward and expose the contamination within the church.
McCabe had changed the path of his life for ever, and while he may never be able to forgive completely, he wanted to begin some kind of healing process, he said.