Friday, August 17, 2018

The Apologies of the Sisters of Mercy - and the Visit of Pope Francis to Ireland

Chief Apologiser Sister Helena O'Donoghue 

I have an article on my old website concerning the Irish Sisters of Mercy - and their policy of abasing themselves before people who make false allegations of child abuse. It begins as follows:
Together with the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy have been THE major target for false accusations since at least 1996. The Sisters policy of apologising to false accusers has had disastrous consequences - and not only for themselves. They appear to believe that a false accuser is a "deeply hurt" person and that an apology will lead to "healing and reconciliation". The outcome of this policy is that no distinction is made between vicious fraudsters and people who may have a genuine grievance. Not surprisingly, their apologies have been met with loathing and ridicule but other religious orders have followed suit and eventually the Bishops themselves, (even though the latter had initially defended themselves strongly to the extent of suing media that slandered them).

I recently posted two comments on an article in America Magazine entitled U.S. Sisters Demand Action on Sexual Abuse Crisis by Michael J. O'Loughlin. The "action" the American Sisters are demanding is that they be protected from sexual abuse and harassment "
perpetrated by those in positions of trust in the church community". [my emphasis]. This demand does not seem to refer to harassment from persons making false allegations of child abuse, child rape and child murder. Do American nuns really not face this problem - which is a major issue in Ireland? Or can it be that the group referred to in the article the "Leadership Conference of Women Religious" [LCMR] have no interest in defending their falsely accused colleagues? The latter is certainly the case in Ireland. The Irish counterpart of the the American group is the Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland [AMRI] . This Association is led by the Sisters of Mercy who have gone out of their way in attempting to appease people who despise them!

First Comment re Article "US Sisters Demand Action on Sexual Abuse Crisis"

Rory Connor  - 7 August 2018
I sent a message to the American Religious Sisters of Mercy concerning their counterparts in Ireland; the latter took the side of people who made false allegations of child rape and murder against their own colleagues - and failed to withdraw their support from false accusers even when the Court of Criminal Appeal issued a Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice to one former nun! I wrote:

Regarding the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland, can the Irish Sisters take this opportunity to withdraw their apology to the accusers of Nora Wall (formerly Sister Dominic). See Wikipedia article on Nora Wall. Also reprimand our current Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan for repeating in 2009 a libel for which Nora Wall had received damages from the Sunday World in 2002. He did so under Parliamentary Privilege and the Irish Sisters said nothing at the time.

My blog is and the Profile section contains a link to my Background.

Finally the Irish Sisters should withdraw their apology to the Howe family who accused Sister Xavieria Lally of murdering baby Marion Howe with a red hot poker in 1955. The Howe's made that claim in an article in the Daily Mirror on 11 October 1997. Try googling the headline

Daily Mirror executives rightly believed that the Sisters of Mercy would not object and would prevent Sister Xavieria from defending herself or suing for libel. An article in the far more "respectable" Irish Times on the same date observed: "Why then has the order issued qualified apologies? Why has it paid compensation to the Howes, albeit a relatively meagre sum? Is there not a tacit admission here that what these people say happened did happen? Or are we to believe that the Sisters of Mercy have taken to paying compensation and issuing apologies for things that didn't happen at all?"

In contrast Nora Wall, no longer a Sister of Mercy, successfully sued the Sunday World for libel in 2002, received a Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice from the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2005 and successfully sued the Irish Government and Director of Public Prosecutions in 2016 (after a battle lasting a decade which her former colleagues ignored). Sister Xavieria is now deceased but is owed an apology by her colleagues who betrayed her and allowed her to be vilified precisely because she did NOT leave the Congregation. The visit of Pope Francis, the Pope of compassion should motivate those colleagues to repent and - at the very least - withdraw their apologies to those who slandered Nora Wall and Sister Xavieria.

No reply from either the Irish Sisters of Mercy - or their American counterparts. I presume the latter are part of the group who are now criticising the Bishops for failing to protect nuns!!

Second Comment re Article "US Sisters Demand Action on Sexual Abuse Crisis"

Elaine Boyle - 8 August 2018
Laicize, excommunicate, prosecute

Rory Connor - 10 August 2018
WHO exactly do you mean? My information about the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Ireland is that there was a conflict between Liberals and Conservatives in the Congregation about how to deal with a avalanche of allegations, some of which were impossible to disprove 40 or 50 years later but others were either proven to be false (rape allegations against Nora Wall and Pablo McCabe) or OBVIOUSLY ludicrous from the beginning (murder allegation against the late Sister Xavieria Lally).

The Conservatives wanted the Congregation leaders to defend the innocent and to condemn false accusers. The "Liberals" - who predominated in the leadership - took the view that even women who told obvious lies about the nuns must have been deeply hurt by the Church in order to say such things; therefore the proper response to their pain was to apologise to them and to pay "compensation", for which no proof of wrongdoing would be required. By a truly incredible co-incidence, the younger liberal leaders who took this decision were not themselves the target of the obscene allegations - it was the older nuns who objected to this approach and it was THEY who were thrown to the wolves!

The above article by Michael J. McLoughlin is entitled "U.S. Sisters Demand Action on Sexual Abuse Crisis". Would I be correct in assuming that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious whom he quotes, have never condemned false allegations against clergy or nuns? Also that the Religious Sisters of Mercy in the USA are members of this Leadership Conference??

Apart from the Wikipedia article on Nora Wall, there is an article by Breda O'Brien in the Irish Jesuit Review 'Studies' entitled "Miscarriage of Justice: Paul McCabe and Nora Wall"

It focuses on the homeless schizophrenic man whom the Irish Sisters of Mercy ALSO betrayed. (See NOTES [1] and [2])

"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength"

The above quote comes from the King James Bible translation of Psalm 8:2. In this particular case, strength and wisdom come from the internet magazine SpikedOnLine which is edited by atheist Irishman Brendan O'Neill. A recent article "Can Poetry Survive Outrage Culture" was penned by writer Candice Holdsworth. It concerns the sad fate of a poet Anders Carlson-Wee who was savaged by an online social,media mob for a poem published in the (very liberal) Nation magazine last month. Once the mob denounced the poem as non-PC, the two poetry editors at the Nation who had accepted it, completely backed away from the work and published an apology, which they posted above the poem. They said they had made ‘a serious mistake’, were sorry ‘for the pain we have caused to the many communities affected by this poem’, and planned to ‘earn the trust back’ of their readers. Poet Carlson-Wee also grovelled. 

It's very reminiscent of the behaviour of the Irish Sisters of Mercy abasing themselves before false accusers in the hope of "healing their pain" and "promoting reconciliation"! Two readers who commented on Holdsworth's article explained the mentality very well.

The poet's self-abasement had the usual effect - the mob smelled blood and doubled-down on the claimed outrage. His cringing and cowering statement was itself deemed 'problematic' and full of 'thought-crime'.

Never apologise to these buggers, it won't get them off your back. You can never be apologetic enough and they don't ever accept it as contrition, just as an admission of guilt for which there is no redemption.

Mark Beal reply to mouseketeery 
Besides, does anyone actually believe the apologies? They only thing the apologizing party achieves is severely diminishing the amount of respect anyone has for them, and probably their own self-respect.

NOTES regarding Pablo McCabe

[1] Paul (Pablo) McCabe was Nora Wall's co-accused and the "homeless schizophrenic man whom the Irish Sisters of Mercy ALSO betrayed". He was the ultimate victim of this miscarriage of justice. Obviously he had no money but prior to 1999, no woman had ever been convicted of rape in Ireland so Regina Walsh fingered him as the main rapist and claimed that Nora Wall had held her down while Pablo had raped her. Her intention was to claim "compensation" from the Sisters of Mercy; Pablo was "collateral damage"!

Breda O'Brien's article in Studies Review in Winter 2006 focuses on Paul McCabe and indicates how the very Merciful Sisters originally favoured him:

Paul McCabe addressed a Diocesan Gathering of Mercy Sisters in Gracedieu in Waterford in 1988. His account tells of being born in Dublin in 1949 to a single mother. She struggled on until Paul was three, but she ‘had great difficulty in working, paying for accommodation and paying someone to look after me.” Thus he came to live in what was to become known as the “ old St. Michael’s”, a junior industrial school run by the Sisters of Mercy in Cappoquin. His memories of that time are “very happy ones of caring and interested women.” He then went to the Industrial School at Artane, Dublin, which he found traumatic, as it had “over nine hundred boys in a very strict set-up.”.....

So when Pablo could be presented as a victim of the Patriarchy, the Sisters allowed him to  address one of their annual meetings. It's difficult to imagine John Charles McQuaid, the doyen of the Irish Catholic Church in the  20th century doing anything similar. But McQuaid would never have betrayed an innocent man (and one of his own priests) as the Sisters betrayed Pablo McCabe and Nora Wall!

[2] This is the text of the Sisters of Mercy apology to Regina Walsh - as per the Wikipedia article on the case:
"We are all devastated by the revolting crimes which resulted in these verdicts. Our hearts go out to this young woman who, as a child, was placed in our care. Her courage in coming forward was heroic. We beg anyone who was abused whilst in our care to go to the GardaĆ­."

The article continues:
Even after the collapse of the case against the two accused, the Sisters of Mercy made no effort to apologise to Wall or to withdraw their statement of support for Walsh. One commentator remarked: "The young woman their hearts were going out to, was the false accuser, not their own innocent nun. Our absolutist system had seduced them into identifying with the accuser and betraying their own sister."

The media which had savaged Nora Wall ("Vile Nun", "Pervert Nun", "I Was Raped by Anti-Christ") put no pressure on the leaders of the Sisters of Mercy to withdraw their apology. As for their own consciences - well perhaps the visit of Pope Francis will cause the Merciful Sisters to reconsider their behaviour??

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Forgiveness of Clerical Child Abusers? Response by former victim Santiago Cruz

Sister Camille D'Arienzo

[ Sister Camille D'Arienzo is a Sister of Mercy in the United States (Mid-Atlantic Community). I am quite hostile to the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland, due to their habit of apologising to those who make false accusations of child abuse and paying them large sums of money in an attempt to "heal their pain"! I have written about that HERE. However Sister Camille wrote a very interesting article in (the Jesuit) America Magazine in August 2008 entitled "Mercy Toward Our Fathers: Difficult as it may be, forgiving priests guilty of abuse could be the key to healing". It attracted an even more remarkable response from Santiago Cruz, a man who had himself been the victim such abuse. ]

The following is a comment by Santiago Cruz – once a victim of sexual assault – following an article in ‘AMERICA’ August 18-25, 2008 on the subject of Forgiveness of Clerical Child Abusers

I was a victim of sexual assault. I use the word “was” because I remained a victim until I forgave my abuser and moved on with my life, a process that concluded some years ago. Having said that, I want to comment on Mercy Toward Our Fathers” by Sister Camille D’Arienzo, and on some of what has been posted here in the aftermath of this excellent article.

As a Catholic and sexual abuse “survivor,” I watched with much concern as the priesthood scandal unfolded in 2002.1 was riveted to the story of one of the victims, a middle -aged man who angrily revealed in front of TV cameras the harm done to him some thirty years ago. I listened as this man blamed everything that had ever gone wrong in his life on the priest who took advantage of him. I listened as his lawyer held press conferences describing why his scores of clients each deserved enhanced settlements from the Church (minus a 40 percent contingency fee, of course). Six years went by, and I recently listened again as the same man addressed a meeting of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) saying the very same things he said six years ago. The only addition – a six-figure settlement and a personal meeting with the Holy Father notwithstanding – was a claim that the Church has not done enough to ease his suffering or to respond to the crisis.

I listened as someone in these pages equated such suffering with the horrors of the Holocaust. I have listened enough. I will not hear another word from these so-called survivors and groups like VOTF that seem intent upon enabling them to never move on. I have heard enough.

It was the comparison with the Holocaust that has driven me over the edge. I have never before heard such narcissistic, self-serving, irresponsible rhetoric, and I will not hear any more of it. It offends every part of me, but it especially offends that part of me that worked so hard to recover from sexual victimization. Enough is enough. The sexual abuse of minors has been an epidemic in our society, and we have found a convenient scapegoat in the small percentage of priests who offended and in a Church that failed to act in 1975 as it would in 2005. There will not be true justice for victims until we move beyond the false notion that the Church and priesthood have been a special locus of sexual abuse, a myth that has benefited no one but personal injury lawyers and THEIR enablers in SNAP and VOTF.  [SNAP = "Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests"]

There will not be justice for victims until every institution in our culture embraces the transparency that has been embraced by the Catholic Church. Where is the public release of documents about accused clergy from other denominations? Why are public schools shielded from civil liability for abuse? Most alarming of all is the rhetoric about the so-called “cycle of abuse.” Why did Congressman Foley get to shift blame for his own misconduct on the priest he claimed abused him? The so-called cycle of victim-hood is such a convenient phenomenon. If it is true, then who is keeping an eye on the hundreds of middle-aged men who have received windfall financial settlements claiming abuse by priests in their childhoods?

As long as we allow VOTF, SNAP and others with an agenda to keep us bound up in the cycle of blame and vilification and loathing, there can be no healing for the victims, for the Church, for anyone. It is time for some of the so-called victim advocates in this picture to recognize that they are doing far more harm than good. I applaud Sister D’Arienzo for having the courage to write so openly against a seeming tidal wave of angry, unproductive rhetoric. Arguing for anything less than forgiveness and healing is to perpetrate and perpetuate abuse. It is time to turn off the TV cameras, send the lawyers packing, stop vilifying the new class of lepers we have created among the accused in our Church, and act like the Catholic Christians most of us strive to be. 
Santiago Cruz 
Santiago Cruz writes from Los Angeles

There was a follow-up Comment in  America Magazine in November 2008 by Ryan A. MacDonald

Re: Mercy toward our Fathers (Sr. Camille D'Arienzo, America 8/18) 

After reading Sr. Camille's wonderful article, I followed the comments here with some agreement, but much concern for the tone of most. How interesting that the view of Santiago Cruz seemed to be the final word. Well, I want to echo the thoughts of Mr. Cruz. He wrote what I believe many Catholics have thought and felt for some time, but have been hesitant to write for fear of being demonized by SNAP, VOTF and other "advocates."

 I agree with Mr. Cruz that real advocacy would lead victims to survive their victim-hood, not to wallow in it, profit from it, engage in smear campaigns because of it. I do not blame the victims of clergy sexual abuse for being hurt and angry, but no one should be more alarmed, insulted, and dispirited by false claims than real victims of sexual abuse. I believe that many of those who have used the current climate to demand financial settlements with no offer of proof are victims of nothing more than their own greed and lack of morally guiding principles. 

Santiago Cruz is right. Why is the victim of a priest so much more harmed than the victim of a teacher or coach, or minister? Yet teachers and school systems - which have been proven to have exponentially greater incidences of abuse - are exempt from litigation and vicarious responsibility. Why are SNAP and VOTF okay with that? The fact that they seem to have nothing to say about it is evidence that they are merely using The Scandal for some other agenda that has nothing to do with protecting children.

 I recently read that SNAP called a press conference from the office of a contingency lawyer to announce a lawsuit against the Jesuits because of the alleged behavior of a now elderly priest over 40 years ago. No one can prove or disprove such a claim, but the smear campaign and bullying into a lucrative settlement are already well underway.

 It is time for SNAP and VOTF to fold up and go away. They have done far more harm than good to real victims of abuse like Santiago Cruz. I thank him for opening my eyes to this. The only way VOTF can survive and serve our Church is to publicly denounce SNAP, its tactics, and its open promotion of contingency lawyers' goal to bankrupt Catholic institutions and then move on to some other trough. 

The abuse scandal is over. What we are seeing now is the abuse of the abuse scandal, and some rather shameless profiteering by what has become a gang of thugs masked as advocates. It's time for the Church's leaders to be shepherds again, and not sheep to be fleeced. It is time for them to stop throwing their priests to the litigious wolves. Greed ranks right up there with lust among the Seven Deadly Sins.

 Ryan A. MacDonald 

by Ryan A. MacDonald on November 22, 2008 at 10:31 PM 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Eight Falsely Accused Bishops (and Archbishops) in Ireland

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid (slandered by Dr Noel Browne and John Cooney)

Cardinal Archbishop Cahal Daly (slandered by Deputy Pat Rabbitte)


This article started as an "open letter" to several Irish historians on 7 December 2006, with a follow-up 10 days later. Both were published at the time by the "Alliance Victim Support Group" on its website I think that the Group which was founded in 1999, disbanded recently and there is just a skeletal website remaining. The first two letters refer to false allegations against six Irish Bishops - including two Archbishops (John Charles McQuaid of Dublin and Cahal Daly of Armagh - pictured above). In June 2008 I forwarded copies of the two to Brenda Power of the Sunday Times in response to an article she had written concerning the effects of false allegations of sexual assault. By this time there had been an additional allegation against a former Archbishop i.e. Thomas Morris of Cashel and I also recalled that Mary Raftery had slandered the former Bishop of Ossary, Peter Birch. Bishop Birch had been widely admired for his work among the poor by many people - including by my own mentor Brother Maurice Kirk.

All of the falsely accused Bishops were extremely high-profile - including three Archbishops. There are only four Archdioceses in Ireland and I have joked over the years that an Archbishop of Tuam - either current or deceased - is obviously next on our anti-clerics hit-list. Actually it has already occurred - but more on this later!

EIGHT Falsely Accused Bishops 

Monday, 23 June, 2008
From: "Rory Connor"
To: Brenda Power, Sunday Times

Brenda Power
The Sunday Times 
Regarding your article "It's the Innocent who Merit an Explanation"
you may like to look at the following two articles which have appeared on the website.

The letters were originally addressed to a number of Irish Historians - and cced to Colm O'Gorman of the "victims" group One in Four for obvious reasons.

A total of 8 Bishops have been falsely accused of sex offences in Ireland - including 3 Archbishops. There are only 26 full Bishops in the country including 4 Archbishops so the Archbishop of Tuam is presumably next on our liberals hit list!

The following articles dated December 2006 relate to 6 Bishops. There has been one subsequent case - the late Archbishop Thomas Morris of Cashel [1] and incredibly I had overlooked one case - that of the late Bishop Peter Birch of Ossory (Kilkenny) [2].

Finally the hysteria about sex crimes is not indiscriminate or at least it didn't begin that way. It was first directed at the Catholic Church and then spread to the rest of society. To counter it you need to start with the obscene lies directed at Churchmen.


Rory Connor

[1] See "Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O'Grady" on on 17 January 2007.
Relevant Link: Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O'Grady

[2] Included in the article "Vincent Browne, Mary Raftery and Sister Conception" on on 21 July 2006.
Relevant Link Bishop Birch and Mary Raftery

Originally SIX Falsely Accused Bishops

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,
The following article concerns false sex allegations directed against 6 Irish Bishops between 1994 and 2006. This represents nearly a quarter of the Irish Hierarchy (shades of "One in Four"!).

Can we expect Colm O'Gorman, the founder of "One in Four" to comment? After all people who make false allegations of child abuse are trading on the misery of those who were REALLY abused. When our current Witch-hunt eventually comes to an end, children who are true victims of child abuse will find it difficult to get a hearing.

Cynicism is the legacy of Hysteria and Cynicism will be the ultimate legacy of our Irish Salem.


Rory Connor 
7 December 2006


In the 12 years since 1994, a total of six Irish bishops have been the target of false sex allegations in the media. The majority of the allegations relate to claims that the bishop was a paedophile, one to a different sex claim and one to a charge of trying to prevent the extradition of the paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth.

There are only 26 bishops in the whole of Ireland.

My articles on the allegations are published on the website between June and November 2006. 29 September 2006

Relevant Link: The Guardian and Bishop Magee

On 2 April 1994, The Guardian, which is Britain's most distinguished "liberal" newspaper, published an allegation that a senior Irish Bishop was linked to a paedophile ring. 

The Guardian thought that, by not naming the bishop they could get away with their lies. However there are only 26 bishops on the whole of Ireland and the newspaper report contained certain remarks that reduced the number of possible targets still further. The Irish Hierarchy threatened a class libel suit and the Guardian were forced to apologise.

On 22 April 1994, the Irish Times which is the Irish equivalent of the Guardian, published a report that contains little more than the text of their sister paper's apology. However the more down-market Sunday Independent published a detailed report into the background of the libel. Independent journalist Sam Smyth pointed out that this claim had been previously investigated by a number of British TABLOIDS which rejected it as false! Yet the Guardian went ahead and published anyway!

The following summary comes from Richard Websters article "States of Fear, The Redress Board and Ireland's Folly" on the website 

(My own longer article "FALSE ALLEGATIONS: PAT RABBITTE AND CARDINAL CATHAL DALY" is on in October 2006.)
Relevant Link: Pat Rabbitte and Cardinal Cahal Daly 

"The beginnings of the story go back to 1994 when the authorities in Northern Ireland sought the extradition from the Republic of Father Brendan Smyth, a Catholic priest who was facing a number of counts of child sexual abuse to which he would eventually plead guilty. It would appear that he had previously been protected against allegations by his own Norbertine order, which had moved him from parish to parish as complaints arose, and failed to alert the police.

 Perhaps because of the age of the allegations, which went back twenty years, there was a delay of several months during which the Irish attorney general took no action in relation to the extradition request. Unfounded reports began to circulate in Dublin that the process was being deliberately delayed in response to a request made at the highest level by the Catholic Church. An Irish opposition deputy, Pat Rabbitte, then referred in parliament to the possible existence of a document that would ‘rock the foundations of this society to its very roots’. He apparently had in mind the rumoured existence of a letter written by the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Cathal Daly, to the attorney general in Dublin. In this letter the Cardinal had supposedly interceded on behalf of Father Brendan Smyth and requested the delay in his extradition which had in fact taken place.

No evidence has been produced that any such letter ever existed. Yet, as a direct result of the rumours which now swept the country, confidence in the ruling establishment was undermined and the Fianna Fail government of Albert Reynolds fell, amidst talk of a dark conspiracy involving politicians, members of Opus Dei, the Knights of Columbus and others. This conspiracy was allegedly seeking to cover up the activities of paedophile priests."

Relevant Link: Bishop Comiskey and Gay Byrne

The following is from a sneering article by Declan Lynch in the Sunday Independent on 8 October 1995. It is headed "Gaybo Speaks and the Catholic Faithful Tremble":

"I personally would rate myself a friend and admirer of Brendan Comiskey [said Gay Byrne on his radio programme], and indeed I was looking for him on the telephone recently, and he didn't make contact with me which would have been kind of unusual, a little bit unusual.

"So much so that I don't believe now that Brendan Comiskey has gone to America because of stress, nor do I believe he's gone because of alcohol, nor do I believe he's gone because of his alleged protection of a priest who's up on charges.

"I think there is something other. I haven't the faintest idea of what it is, but I think there is something else, and I think it is something dreadful, and I.m almost afraid of what it might be. That's my personal reaction."

A second article in the same paper commented that "although the remarks appeared to be 'off the cuff' it is known that Gay scripts his shows with extreme care and attention."

[See article "Apology to Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee by TV3"  on on 27 Sept 2006]
Relevant Link: TV3 and Bishop Magee

The following is the text of TV3's apology for libelling Bishop Magee:


It was reported on the 15th September last in the news at 5.30pm, 7.00pm and 10.45pm that the Catholic Church had settled a case with a man who claimed that inappropriate behaviour took place in the Bishop of Cloyne's residence. We wish to unreservedly retract same as it is clear that no such claim was made by the man in question. We are satisfied that there was no basis or truth whatever in the allegations and any suggestion that the Bishop of Cloyne has been compromised in any manner in the conduct of his duties is sincerely regretted and entirely without foundation. We wish to offer an unreserved apology to the Bishop and to the Diocese of Cloyne.

The sincerity of TV3's repentance can be gauged from the fact that, one month later, in October 1999, they broadcast Louis Lentin's documentary "Our Boys". This contained an allegation by Gerry Kelly that he attended the funerals of boys in Artane who had been killed by the Christian Brothers. No boy died of any cause while Gerry Kelly was in Artane!

Relevant Links: Five Articles on John Cooney and John Charles McQuaid

I have published several articles on this subject on the Alliance website from July 2006 onwards. See in particular the 5 articles entitled "JOHN COONEY AND JOHN CHARLES MCQUAID" (1) to (5). The first article contains quotations from 4 Irish historians, all of whom agree that the allegations in Cooney's biography of John Charles are rubbish. Incredibly they also agree that its a great book - provided you disregard the "silly bits" about paedophilia!! 

The most outrageous claim in John Cooney's book "John Charles McQuaid - Ruler of Catholic Ireland" is that the Archbishop was a homosexual paedophile. However in my third article I refer to Cooney's other allegation that the Archbishop used an astronomical telescope to spy on courting couples on Killiney beach and on girls in a schoolyard. I point out some problems with these claims
(A) Killiney beach is not visible from the Archbishop's observatory
(B) Homosexual paedophiles do not normally display an interest in courting couples or females of any age (Actually the same applies to non-paedophile homosexuals!).
(C) An astronomical telescope is designed to view stars millions of miles away. It is not suitable for observing human beings a hundred yards away!

Dr Noel Browne is the source of the main allegation against the late Archbishop. See articles "DOCTOR NOEL BROWNE AND HIS ENEMIES" and "DOCTOR NOEL BROWNE AND THE BISHOPS" on the Alliance Support website.
Relevant Links: Noel Browne and His Enemies and Noel Browne and the Bishops

[see article "Eamonn Casey, the Bishop Still Seeking Sanctuary from His Past" on on 19 November 2006]
Relevant Link: Bishop Casey Accused

Bishop Eamonn Casey was recently accused by a middle aged woman who claimed that he had abused her 30 years ago. Thus we are clearly talking about an allegation of pedophilia. The claim was given huge publicity by the media which emphasised that the woman is regarded as mentally disturbed and has made unfounded allegations against other people. So why all the publicity since journalists obviously did not believe her?. If she had accused a retired headmaster or senior civil servant would her lies have been given equal prominence? The difference is that Eamonn Casey is a retired Bishop. The Rape Crisis Network also thought that this was a good opportunity to demand that he apologise again to Annie Murphy. 

What we have here is a society that is spewing on itself. The saga of false allegations against Bishops began in 1994 when the UK Guardian accused an un-named Bishop of being part of a paedophile ring. Later that year Pat Rabbitte  implied that Cardinal Cahal Daly was engaged in a conspiracy with the Attorney General to prevent the extradition of Father Brendan Smyth. In that year the false allegations were being made by the highest in the land. Now a poor deranged woman is repeating them. "A fish rots from the head" says the Russian proverb about the role of intellectuals in society. Now the rot has reached both tail and heart!

Rory Connor 
7 December 2006

'One in Four' Bishops - as per Colm O'Gorman!

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,

A couple of objections to my article on "False Allegations against Irish Bishops" have come to my attention. [ on 9 Dec 2006]. The main objection is that I am overstating the significance of the number of false allegations. I claim - only partly with tongue in cheek - that the allegations against six Bishops amount to "One in Four" of the Irish Hierarchy (as per Colm O'Gorman and his group of that name).

FIRST OBJECTION.  You are referring to TWO different generations of Bishops. After all Archbishop McQuaid died in 1973 and Bishop Casey retired in 1992. Therefore the proportion of falsely accused Bishops is one in eight or ten rather than "One in Four". 

MY ANSWER. Yes but all of the allegations date from 1994 to date and these 12 years fit neatly into one generation. MOREOVER the usual explanations for making claims decades after the event, do not apply in these cases. The usual excuses are:

(A) I was traumatised by my experiences and only recovered recently, 
(B) Nobody would believe my word against that of a priest/Bishop.

Since we are talking about lies and slander these explanations are irrelevant. Thus the "One in Four" proportion is OK.

SECOND OBJECTION: There are 26 Irish dioceses but 33 Bishops - the other 7 are "Auxiliary Bishops". Again this means that you have exaggerated the proportion of those who have been falsely accused.

MY REPLY.  No Auxiliary Bishop has been falsely accused (as far as I know) and I think it unlikely that one will be in the future. Just look at the list of those who have been the target of obscene lies:
  • John Charles McQuaid was the best known Irish prelate of the 20th Century. He was Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland.
  • Cathal Daly was Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
  • John Magee of Cloyne is the only man in the history of the Church to have been Private Secretary to three Popes (Paul VI, John Paul 1 and John Paul 11)
  • Bishops Eamonn Casey and Brendan Comiskey are very well known prelates who had frequent dealings with the media
  • I am reasonably sure I know the identity of the un-named Bishop who was accused by the UK Guardian in 1994. He is no "Auxiliary" either!
  • Our lying intellectuals tend to concentrate on the "big shots" in the Catholic Church and disdain mere Auxiliary Bishops.  Thus I think my "One in Four" proportion is still valid.
FINALLY I believe that the behaviour of our lying anti-clerics says a great deal about the nature of the paedophile problem in this country. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a major problem with paedophile clergy in the Catholic Church. Then over the last 50 years or so, you would expect that at least one Bishop would be identified as a paedophile. You would also expect that this man would be operating in a small diocese and that few people would have heard of him before the scandal. THAT is the way things work out in real life (as opposed to Salem Style Witch-hunts). And the reason things happen that way is that a man with severe moral and emotional problems is unlikely to be a high-flier in any profession. (Compare the unfortunate Judge Brian Curtin).

However that is NOT how things actually worked out. Ludicrous and lying allegations have been made against  a Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, a  former Archbishop of Dublin who was a hate figure for "liberals" since the 1970s etc etc. 

Clearly we are not talking about real life but a parallel universe in which our anti-clerics draw their plots from Dallas and their morals from the Nazi pornographer Julius Streicher. 

Is it possible that I am overstating my case?

Best wishes, 

Rory Connor

[19 December 2006]

False Allegation against Former Archbishop(s) of Tuam

Over the years I have joked that  Irish "liberals" who slandered three of our four Archbishops, were bound to take aim at the Archbishop of Tuam. Actually it happened  a few years ago but I didn't fully appreciate its significance at the time. In June 2014 the Jesuit magazine "America" persuaded the Associated Press to issue an apology for claiming that the Catholic Church had refused to baptise the children of unmarried mothers at the mother and baby home in Tuam run by the Bon Secour nuns. Senior Editor Kevin Clarke wrote in "The Galway Horror Part II"
“Babies born inside the institutions were denied baptism and, if they died from the illness and disease rife in such facilities, also denied a Christian burial.” It is a sentence, unattributed to any source, which repeats—either word for word or in a close approximation—in hundreds of articles concerning the now infamous deaths and burials of hundreds of children in Tuam, Galway between 1925 and 1961. This appalling sacramental indifference is referenced in major U.S. and U.K. publications and cited in leading online opinion journals like Salon as more evidence of the cruelty of the Bon Secours sisters who ran the home and the Catholic Church in Ireland in general.

The text of the apology is as follows:
DUBLIN (AP) — In stories published June 3 and June 8 [2014] about young children buried in unmarked graves after dying at a former Irish orphanage for the children of unwed mothers, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms; documents show that many children at the orphanage were baptized. The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.

The journalists who published those lies were aiming at the Bon Secour nuns in particular and at the Catholic Church in general. However it is the clergy and not nuns, who would have made that decision and the local priest would certainly have referred an issue of such rarity and importance to his Bishop - or in this case to the Archbishop of Tuam.  According all four Irish Archbishops have now been subjected to obscene lies by our "liberal" media!

If our journalists - and politicians - were targeting Protestant Archbishops or the Chief Rabbi of Ireland with such lies, no one would be in any doubt as to their motivation! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Blood Libel in Ireland - directed against Catholics not Jews!

Patsy McGarry R.E. Correspondent for Irish Times - the Man who Started it All!

[ It was Patsy McGarry's article in the Irish Times on 25 September 1999 (see below) that started me on my current Crusade! ]


(i) In 2006 the Sunday Tribune offered to publish a letter on this subject if I reduced it to an acceptable length. However this version is already a summary of a much longer submission I made to the Irish Human Rights Commission in 2004, requesting them to investigate the allegations of child murder etc made by the media against the Christian Brothers. I felt I could not summarise it any further so the project lapsed.

(ii) At the time of writing,  I forgot that in 1997 a child murder allegation had also been directed against the Sisters of Mercy. See article in The Mirror on 11 October 1997 (by Neil Leslie, editor of the Irish edition) entitled
Hot Poker Was Used On Little Marion... No Cash Will Get Her Back; I Think My Baby Was Murdered At The Orphanage, Says Payout Mum ]

Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 19:29:19 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Connor
Subject: False Allegations of Child Abuse
To: Editor Sunday Tribune

Letters to Editor 
Sunday Tribune

Dear Sir, 
I refer to the controversy concerning false allegations of child abuse. Some leaders of "victims" groups seem to find it very difficult to accept the idea that such allegations exist. A spokesperson for "One in Four" claimed that out of thousands of claims to the Redress Board, only one was found to be false.

For some years now I have been looking into accusations of child killing which have been made against the Christian Brothers and other religious. I choose this topic because it is something that can be investigated long after the supposed events. In most cases no boy died at the time in question so it is not even a case of "honest" hysteria but blatant lying. (I call these "Murder of the Undead" allegations!) [NOTE: I later coined the additional phrase "Victimless Murders"]

If someone accuses you of child abuse 30, 40 or even 50 years ago there is no way you can clear your name. However if the same person claims you killed a child and no child died at the time, then this says a great deal about your accuser's credibility.

The following is an extract from a letter I wrote to the Irish Human Rights Commission in March 2004 regarding this issue. I list some of the more prominent "Murder of the Undead" allegations.

1. Patsy McGarry's article in the Irish Times on 25 September 1999 quoting Patrick Walsh of SOCA who claimed to have attended the funerals of boys killed by the Brothers. No boy died while Patrick Walsh was in Artane so his claim is not even "honest" hysteria. Mick Waters of SOCA UK wrote to the Irish Times on 17 October 1999 to express his support for Patsy McGarry. This gentleman still retains his position in SOCA UK, as indeed does Patrick Walsh in SOCA. (I have seen the latter quoted as a spokesman for SOCA on several occasions). [NOTE: SOCA = "Survivors of Child Abuse"]

2. Louis Lentin's programme "Our Boys" on TV3 in October 1999 that was repeated in November 2000, quoting Gerry Kelly (then head of the "Alliance for the Healing of Institutional Abuse") who also claimed to have attended funerals of murdered boys. Again no boy died while Gerry Kelly was at Artane.

Gerry Kelly also slandered Nora Wall (see articles in Ireland on Sunday dated 25 July and 1st August 1999). Moreover, a few weeks before they first broadcast Our Boys, TV3 were forced to apologise to the Bishop of Cloyne for libelling him. (This apology was buried by the media - I found out about it myself when I rang the Bishop's office to ask how his legal case was going!).

3. John Kelly of SOCA who told me on the steps of the Pro Cathedral and in front of several journalists, that there were mass graves in Artane and other  institutions (quoted in the Irish Independent on 25 November 2002)

4. Brighid McLaughlin quoting Mannix Flynn in the Sunday Independent on 22 December 2002, that there had been a "holocaust" at Letterfrack with boys buried all over the place and also that the Gardai at Clifden had uncovered a "massive paedophile ring" which ran "from the low minions right up to the top". In January 2003, a few weeks after he made those allegations, Mr. Flynn was elected a member of Aosdana, the association of creative artists and he has recently been made Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art Is this in spite of, or because of, his vicious lies?

5. Mary Raftery who claimed in the TV programme "States of Fear" and in her book "Suffer the Little Children" that there were "deaths in mysterious and unexplained circumstances" in Artane. She failed to mention that the one case which she quoted had been the subject of a coroner's report and when her "witness" gave three separate and contradictory accounts, she tried to resolve the contradictions by claiming - on Today With Pat Kenny 22/11/99 - that there was more than one such death (i.e. due to a fall from a staircase). See letter from Brother M. Reynolds in the Irish Times on 22 December 1999.

In a letter to the Irish Times on 13 January 2000 Mary Raftery claimed that the death of the boy was the subject of an ongoing Garda investigation. When the Garda Press Office confirmed that this was not the case, Mary Raftery's response (on Eamon Dunphy's The Last Word) was "This is complete rubbish. This is rubbish. This is rubbish" (see Letters page on 26 January 2000). It is clear that she wants the Christian Brothers to have murdered a boy in order to justify her own hatred!

6. Mary Raftery also made thuggish allegations against Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, accusing her of failing to act when a social worker told her a boy was being sexually abused. (She also accused Sister Stanislaus of berating civil servants at a meeting because they failed to give sufficient credit to the Church for its social work). Sister Stan was subjected to sustained and vicious attack in the media until the social worker wrote to the Irish Times to confirm that, at the time he spoke to her, he himself had no idea that sex abuse was involved and that he felt that Sister Stan had done everything possible for the children. Edward Murphy's letter is in the Irish Times Letters Page on 22 December 1999. It did not make the news pages. Of course Mary Raftery made no attempt to apologise. (Nor did she apologise when the three civil servants involved in the meeting told Breda O'Brien that no such episode had taken place).

7. Mary Raftery also claimed that a boy who said he had been sexually abused by Brother Joseph O’Connor, waited around the Mater Hospital when Brother O’Connor was dying and then went in to take a look at the body to make sure he was dead. Brother Joseph O'Connor did not die in the Mater Hospital. Again there was no apology from Ms. Raftery. (Brother Joseph O'Connor was the Brother responsible for the Artane Boys Band. Sister Stanislaus helped to set up the first childcare course for lay people in Ireland. I assume this is why Mary Raftery attacked them.)

8. Liam Reid’s article in the Irish Times on 27 November 2003, which deliberately repeats the blood libel about the death of William Delaney in 1970. Following a disgusting media campaign in 2001 the Evening Herald was forced to admit that the post mortem on the exhumed body of William Delaney had found that he died of natural causes (Evening Herald, 27 April 2001). However, having howled obscenities at the Christian Brothers, the media dropped the issue like a shot. Liam Reid is depending on people having short memories.

In December 2003 the Royal College of Surgeons published a study on clerical sexual abuse. This pointed out that the Irish Times used the term "paedophile priest" 322 times between August 1993 and August 2000. Apart from the term "paedophile farmer" which was used 5 times, no other occupation was linked to paedophilia in reports. (I understand that the references to "paedophile farmer" occurred when a social worker wrote to the Irish Times to enquire why it never used such terms and a farmer then wrote in to protest!). The Irish Times is anti-clerical in the same way other publications are anti-Semitic or racist.
[Statistics are from an article by Michael Breen in the Winter 2000 issue of the Jesuit journal 'Studies'. ]

9. Bruce Arnold’s article about Letterfrack in the Irish Independent on 18 June 2003 which claimed that "boys are buried in the woods as well". Garda Superintendent Tony O’Dowd told the Irish Catholic (9 and 16 January 2003) "there was no evidence available that would suggest that foul play led to the deaths of anyone buried inside or outside of the cemetery at the old industrial school of Letterfrack". Mr. Arnold should be asked to produce his evidence.

10. Finally though it did not involve a murder allegation I would request the Commission to question Paul Williams of the Sunday World about his repulsive allegations against Nora Wall on 11 July 1999 i.e. that she had procured children for Fr. Brendan Smyth. Former residents and a "counselor" - all un-named- are quoted in support of the allegations. Who are these people and whom else have they made allegations against?

Nora Wall won damages against the Sunday World. However the story of her "victory" was buried by the media. I myself saw it by accident, in a short article in Phoenix on 8 November 2002, which failed to mention the nature of the libel or the name of the journalist responsible. Paul Williams is now Crime Editor for the Sunday World. I think he was Crime Correspondent in July 1999, which suggests that he has been promoted since the libel!

Reaction of the Irish Human Rights Commission 
They said these allegations were a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions. I already told them he had refused to prosecute two sets of "Murder of the Undead" allegations - by Patrick Walsh and Gerry Kelly - under the Incitement to Hatred Act. (See nos 1 and 2 above).  However he prosecuted a bus driver for telling a black passenger to "go back where you came from" and the driver was convicted of incitement!

They also said that this issue was not in their 3 year Plan. However one of the Commissioners is taking a case to the Supreme Court to have her lesbian marriage recognised in this country.  She is being supported by the IHRC so presumably THAT is in their Plan!

And my own motivation? I once had a teacher, a De La Salle Brother called Maurice Kirk who became one of the main influences on my life. He died in a car crash on 10 April 1974 but I remember him still. A bit like "Tom Brown's Schooldays" really!

Rory Connor

Subsequent Episode of Blood Libel - Alan Shatter T.D. in 2009

When I wrote to the Sunday Tribune in 2006, I thought that the claims of child murder directed against Catholic Religious were more or less finished. Our anti-clerics had come to recognise that it was counter-productive to make allegations that could be disproved - and murder claims definitely fall into that category! However the publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ryan Report) in May 2009 encouraged our more fanatical anti-clerics to try again. I have written about former Minster for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter in a previous article. In 2009 he was a Fine Gael backbencher and I think, their spokesman for Justice and Equality (!). 

In my article "The Maurice McCabe Affair - Six Top Level Resignations To Date (and More to Come?)",  I wrote concerning Shatter:
Alan Shatter: In 2009 Shatter demanded - and got - a high level Garda investigation into allegations that the Catholic Church had been involved in the unsolved murder of  a 10 year old girl Bernadette Connolly, four decades previously in 1970. A year later he was told by the then Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern (Fianna Fail) that no evidence of such collusion had been found. A few months after that, Fianna Fail were out of power and in March 2011, Shatter himself became Minister for Justice in the new Fine Gael government. There was not a word from him subsequently about Bernadette Connolly, so we can assume that he did not suspect that Fianna Fail had colluded with the Gardai investigators to protect the Church! However Shatter further aggravated an existing climate of public hysteria - and fell victim to it himself three years later.

I think that may well be the final time in this country that a "respectable" politician, journalist or leader of a "Victims'" organisation demands an official inquiry into claims that the Catholic Church murdered children! It is ironic that it was a Jewish member of Dail Eireann who made that demand.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Ordeal of Paddy Jackson and the Antics of Senator "Amadan" O'Riordain

Paddy Jackson (Inset) and Senator Aodhan O'Riordain
'Amadan' means 'Fool' in the Gaelic language

The offending tweet 

While I have substituted 'Amadan' (Gaelic for 'Fool') in Senator Aodhan O'Riordain's first name there is nothing amusing about the way he slandered Paddy Jackson and the other three defendants in the Belfast Rape trial. After a trial lasting nine weeks (concluding on 29 March)  the four were acquitted unanimously by the jury in less than four hours. Given that the 11 jurors had to decide on a total of 6 charges against 4 defendants, they can't  have done much more than set up the voting procedure and  say "Not Guilty" several dozen times. 

So how did Senator O'Riordain come to believe that the jury got in wrong? After all he has served as Minister of State in a number of Government departments - including Justice and Equality  in 2014 where he had special responsibility for Equality! I note from his website that he is currently Labour Party spokesman for Education and that;
" I believe in a more tolerant, more equal, and more diverse Ireland. I am ambitious for our country and I want to continue to champion the ideas that I pursued as a Minister of State."

I have already written about the manner in which our current Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan had slandered Nora Wall (and the Cistercians of Mount Melleray) in 2009 and how - in the same year - Alan Shatter demanded an investigation into claims that the Catholic Church had been involved in the unsolved murder of 10 year old Bernadette Connolly in 1970. Both were Fine Gael TDs (ordinary Members of Parliament)  when they made their false allegations of child abuse and child murder respectively and both went on to become Minister for Justice and Equality. 

Fine Gael was founded as a Conservative and Christian Democratic Party and the antics of people like Shatter and Flanagan  once used to surprise me - although not in recent years. The Labour Party has had a radical and anti-clerical wing for several decades but Senator O'Riordain's public slandering of Paddy Jackson and Co on the basis of their being "smug well-connected middle-class boys" is something new. Now that the influence of the Catholic Church has been eliminated in Ireland, it looks like our "radicals" are  re-orientating themselves from anti-clerical hatred towards the Class variety!  (Of course feminist hatred of men is part of the toxic mix).

"Radical" Politicians Started by Slandering the Clergy - But They've Moved On!

Starting from the 1990s there are a number of cases where anti-clerical politicians (and journalists) targeted Catholic clergy and religious but ordinary people ended up as "collateral damage". I am thinking of
(1)  Pat Rabbitte slandering Cardinal Cahal Daly in 1994 but former Attorney General Harry Whelehan and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Albert Reynolds resigned as a result of the firestorm of hysteria that Rabbitte ignited. 

(2) Homeless schizophrenic Pablo McCabe who was accused of rape in 1999 along with former Sister of Mercy Nora Wall. The accusers intended to extract large sums of money from the Sisters of Mercy BUT prior to 1999 no woman had been convicted of rape in Ireland so the penniless McCabe was dragged in to make the accusation look more credible.

(3) An unnamed retired senior official in Department of Education who was slandered by Fine Gael TD Phil Hogan in 2002 and by then Fine Gael TD (now Minister for Justice) Charlie Flanagan in 2009 - each time under the protection of Dail Privilege. The official had inspected the Sister of Mercy home in which Nora Wall worked and given it a clean bill of health - which presumably, is the reason for their allegations.

(4) In June 2009 Labour Party TD Ruairi Quinn said in the Dail that "Either officials in the department are members of secret societies, such as the Knights of St Columbanus and Opus Dei, and have taken it upon themselves to protect the interests of these clerical orders at this point in time. . . or, alternatively, the [Fianna Fail] minister is politically incompetent and incapable of managing the department".  

The Catholic Church no longer has any influence in Ireland but this kind of poisonous hatred has not disappeared but found other targets - including male authority figures like Paddy Jackson and his colleagues in the IRFU.   

(1) Pat Rabbitte and Cardinal Cahal Daly

The late Richard Webster was a cultural historian - and agnostic - who wrote a lot about the hysteria surrounding allegations of sexual abuse in the UK. His main focus was on the effects on lay teachers and child-care workers in the UK but he also wrote about the Catholic Church and about Ireland. This is from his on-line essay "States of Fear, the Redress Board and Ireland's Folly" itself an extract from his book "The Secret of Bryn Estyn: The Making of a Modern Witch Hunt"

"Another country which has developed a particularly intense and dangerous crusade against child abuse is the Republic of Ireland. Here, as in almost every modern instance, the collective fantasy which has been progressively developed has a core of reality. The beginnings of the story go back to 1994 when the authorities in Northern Ireland sought the extradition from the Republic of Father Brendan Smyth, a Catholic priest who was facing a number of counts of child sexual abuse to which he would eventually plead guilty. It would appear that he had previously been protected against allegations by his own Norbertine order, which had moved him from parish to parish as complaints arose, and failed to alert the police. 

"Perhaps because of the age of the allegations, which went back twenty years, there was a delay of several months during which the Irish attorney general took no action in relation to the extradition request. Unfounded reports began to circulate in Dublin that the process was being deliberately delayed in response to a request made at the highest level by the Catholic Church. An Irish opposition deputy, Pat Rabbitte, then referred in parliament to the possible existence of a document that would ‘rock the foundations of this society to its very roots’. He apparently had in mind the rumoured existence of a letter written by the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Cathal Daly, to the attorney general in Dublin. In this letter the Cardinal had supposedly interceded on behalf of Father Brendan Smyth and requested the delay in his extradition which had in fact taken place. [My emphasis]

"No evidence has been produced that any such letter ever existed. Yet, as a direct result of the rumours which now swept the country, confidence in the ruling establishment was undermined and the Fianna Fail government of Albert Reynolds fell, amidst talk of a dark conspiracy involving politicians, members of Opus Dei, the Knights of Columbus and others. This conspiracy was allegedly seeking to cover up the activities of paedophile priests...."

Pat Rabbitte was then a member of a small anti-clerical party Democratic Left. We can assume that Cardinal Cahal Daly was the main target of his fantasy but former Attorney General Harry Whelehan was not just collateral damage.  As a practicing Catholic, Whelehan would also have been in Pat Rabbitte's sights and perhaps the left wing TD actually believed in his Catholic Conspiracy Theory. 

In his book "The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000", Diarmaid Ferriter makes this significant comment about the affair:
"Some became angry when that when Harry Whelehan was questioned and denied the existence of a Catholic conspiracy within the Attorney-General's office, he felt the need to defend his right to be a practicing Catholic."

Democratic Left later merged with the Labour Party, did a reverse take-over and Pat Rabbitte himself was Labour leader from 2002 to 2007. He never apologised for his leading role in Ireland's worst political witch-hunt.

(2) Pablo McCabe and Nora Wall (formerly Sister Dominic)

Nora Wall - formerly Sister Dominic of the Sisters of Mercy - was subjected to a barrage of obscene media abuse in June 1999 when she and Pablo McCabe were convicted (and briefly jailed) on charges of raping a 10 year old girl Regina Walsh in 1987 or 1988 at St Michaels Home in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford. Wall was alleged to have held down the girl while McCabe raped her.  "Vile Nun", "Pervert Nun", "I Was Raped by Anti-Christ" were some of the headlines at the time. Both had originally been charged with raping the same girl on her 12th birthday on 8 January 1990 but the Defence were able to show that Pablo McCabe could not possibly have been in Cappoquin on that date. The jury simply found the two Not Guilty on that charge but convicted them on the other rape count - in respect of which Regina Walsh could not specify the exact date or even the year.

Kevin Myers was the only journalist to publicly dissent from the media consensus and defend Nora Wall. It's not entirely surprising that he himself later fell victim to a different type of media witch-hunt. (See my article Kevin Myers and the Age of De Valera and McQuaid). More typical of the reaction of the great and the good in Ireland, was that of the director of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Olive Braiden, who welcomed the imposition of a maximum sentence, and said it would ensure that Nora Wall would be monitored for the rest of her life to prevent recurrence.

The rape convictions were quickly reversed following a huge stroke of luck for the accused. On 17 June 1999, a week after the convictions, Regina Walsh gave an interview to journalist Barry O'Keefe of The Star newspaper claiming that she had also been raped by a "black man in Leicester Square" in London. This was news to Wall's defence team. Moreover, The Star published the names of Walsh and her "witness" Patricia Phelan for the first time. A Kilkenny businessman read the newspaper and recognised Phelan as the woman who had made a false rape allegation against him, and the defence came into possession of this evidence. Nora Wall and Pablo McCabe were released after spending 4 days in prison. Eventually in December 2005 the Court of Criminal Appeal issued a Certificate of Miscarriage of Justice to Nora Wall. Pablo McCabe had died three years previously aged 53. He was almost the same age as Nora Wall but his health had been broken down by years of homelessness and alcohol abuse.

Although there were two persons accused of rape, the media focused almost exclusively on Nora Wall. An exception is the detailed account of the case by Breda O'Brien in the Irish Quarterly Review 'Studies' entitled: "Miscarriage of Justice: Paul McCabe and Nora Wall". O'Brien quotes the words of Linda Loman in Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman', about her husband Wille Loman enduring humiliation at the end of his career:
"I don't say he's a great man... His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person."

'Studies' is a prestigious publication but it's significant that it is published by the Irish Jesuits - and Breda O'Brien is a Catholic journalist. No secular journalists seem to have taken an interest in the fate of a homeless schizophrenic man savagely  treated by anti-clerics who aimed to discredit the Catholic Church and extract large amounts of "compensation" from the Sisters of Mercy. Prior to June 1999,no woman had ever been convicted of rape in Ireland so the penniless McCabe was included in the allegation in order to make it appear more plausible! 

(3) Phil Hogan and Charlie Flanagan say Senior Official in Dept. of Education was in Paedophile Ring

The allegation was first made by Phil Hogan TD in the Dail (Irish Parliament) on 24 April 2002 when Hogan himself was Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party. See my blog article Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Former FG Chair Phil Hogan Vs George Hook and Nora Wall and in particular the full text of the Irish Times article dated 25 April entitled  "TD Cites Retired Official in Child Sex Abuse Allegations" that I quote in the Comments section. Hogan's allegations were extremely lurid  involving a paedophile ring, convicted murderer Malcolm McArthur, children being tortured and forced to have sex with animals, the unnamed retired senior official in Dept of Education, and of course Nora Wall. It is clear that Hogan was basically targeting Nora Wall and the Sisters of Mercy and accordingly the Dept of Education official was "collateral damage" - because he had inspected the residential center where Nora Wall worked and given it a favourable report.  Note the following from the Irish Times article:
Mr Hogan said the official was linked to investigations into sexual abuse in residential centres in Kilkenny city, Cappoquin, Co Waterford, and Clonmel.......He said it was alleged that all of the abuse took place at the time the [Cappoquin] centre was managed by Nora Wall, a former Sister of Mercy nun whose conviction for rape of a 10-year-old child was quashed by the court of criminal appeal in 1999.
The media did little more at the time, than quote what Phil Hogan had said in the Dail. Deputies cannot be sued for what they say in parliament and the same presumably applies to journalists who quote their words without specifically endorsing them. So Irish journalists understood in April 2002 that Phil Hogan was talking nonsense. Why then did Charlie Flanagan T.D. repeat the same allegations seven years later?  

This is an extract from a Dail Debate on the Institutional Child Abuse Bill 2009 on 8 July 2009, Deputy Charles Flanagan speaking

.......The pattern is repeated in respect of Nora Wall. My colleague, Deputy Phil Hogan, highlighted in this House in April 2002 the alleged involvement of a senior departmental official in a Dublin-based child sex ring at a time he was supposed to have been investigating child abuse. That individual had investigated the home run by Nora Wall and gave it a clean bill of health at a time when there were serious problems at the home, as identified by the Ryan report. .....I regret I do not have more time to probe these matters further but I will return to them in the autumn. It is evident from the behaviour of officials at the Departments of Education Science and Health and Children that Ireland has an endemic problem in respect of the craven deference shown to institutions and those who personify them. .......

Deputy Flanagan did not repeat his colleague's 2002 claim about children being forced to have sex with animals but he did add a new allegation against the Cistercian monks of Mount Melleray - presumably because their Abbey was not far from the Sister of Mercy home in Cappoquin.

(4) Ruairi Quinn Claims Dept of Education Officials are Members of "Secret Societies" like Opus Dei and Knights of Columbanus

Labour Deputy Ruairi Quinn's claim about Education officials was not as vile as that of Fine Gael's Phil Hogan or Charlie Flanagan but it was made in June 2009 at the same time that the latter was accusing a former official of being a member of a paedophile ring. It also echoes Richard Webster's observation about the events of 1994 precipitated by Deputy Pat Rabbitte when "the Fianna Fail government of Albert Reynolds fell, amidst talk of a dark conspiracy involving politicians, members of Opus Dei, the Knights of Columbus and others." 

Ruairi Quinn was leader of the Labour Party from 1997 to 2002 - prior to voicing his fantasies about Opus Dei in Education - and went on to become Minister for Education himself from 2011 to 2014. Now in retirement, Quinn gave an interview to Kathy Sheridan of the Irish Times which was published on 22 February 2016, entitled "Not retiring quietly, Ruairi Quinn has harsh words for critics"  
....There is no shouting now either, more a deep frustration, disappointment and the sadness of a man first elected nearly 40 years ago, now facing into retirement amid unprecedented levels of abuse and venom. He blames media coverage and intolerance, and a general drop in standards. “People feel they can blackguard each other. .....

Irony is definitely not the former Education Ministers's  strong point. There is no hint that Quinn's own brand of thuggish rhetoric had anything to do with the "unprecedented levels of abuse and venom" in public discourse. In fact Catholic clergy, the Gardai (police) - and lately the stars of Irish rugby - are far more likely to be targets than Labour Party politicians. However it's true that any public figure can be targeted by hate-filled fanatics and Ruairi Quinn  certainly didn't like the share of venom he got when he was in power. It was much safer to be on the  opposition benches, dishing it out!


To give Senator Aodhan O'Riordain his due, his denunciation of the "smug well-connected  middle class boys" who had been falsely accused of rape, was NOT as vile as the behaviour of the two Fine Gael politicians who are currently serving as EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Minister for Justice and Equality respectively.  O'Riordain's tweet was not on the same level as accusing a senior Education official of being a member of a paedophile ring (Phil Hogan and Charlie Flanagan) or nuns forcing children to have sex with animals (Phil Hogan alone). Actually you could make a similar judgement about the antics of retired Labour politicians Pat Rabbitte and Ruairi Quinn; they also failed to descend to the gutter levels of their FG counterparts.

 It is strange that the once conservative and Christian Democrat-style Fine Gael party can produce  people like Hogan and Flanagan but Labour isn't quite as bad. Perhaps part of the explanation is that Paddy Jackson and his IRFU colleagues are entirely secular - they are not even "collateral damage" for people whose main interest is in demonising the clergy. For the time being, rugby stars and other prominent secular types do not attract quite the same level of venomous hatred. However in the moral vacuum left by the decline of the Catholic Church, I would not expect this situation to continue. Future witch-hunts are likely to to be aimed at male authority figures like the police and the IRFU and I predict they they will turn out to be as vile as anything that Nora Wall and Pablo McCabe experienced.