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.