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. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) in Ireland and the UK - The Role of the Police

Retired Garda Frank Mullen RIP and his wife

Mike Veale former Chief Constable of Wiltshire

Irish Police Are Targets of Satanic Abuse Claims: UK Police Support Claims!

This is a follow up to my previous article on Satanic Ritual Abuse in Ireland (and the Shortage Thereof). There is a curious asymmetry between Ireland's sole instance of Satanic Ritual Abuse and its recent revival in the UK.   In Ireland members of the the Gardai (police) were the main targets of this hysteria - including Frank Mullen one of the founders of the Garda Representative Association.  In the UK Mike Veale,  the Chief Constable of the Wiltshire police, led a witch-hunt against deceased Tory Prime Minister Edward Heath that included allegations of Satanic Ritual Abuse. This was by no means the sole example of the UK police pursuing ludicrous allegations against Tory politicians. (See for example, the Wikipedia article on Operation Midland in relation to the London Metropolitan Police).  It seems that, in the minds of some anti-Establishment types in the UK,  the Tory Party has assumed the role occupied by the Catholic Church in Ireland!

Is there a contradiction here - surely the police are part of the UK Establishment? Why should they  play the kind of socially destructive role one would normally attribute to Anarchists or  mentally disturbed persons?  I will return to this question towards the end of the article.

Original Claims Made by Cynthia Owen Against Gardai

Cynthia Owen was born in 1961 and made her first allegations in 1994 when she returned from the UK where she had been living for over a decade;  those allegations were  directed against her parents and brothers. She claimed that her father and other men had raped her causing her to become pregnant at the age of 11 and that her mother had murdered the baby. This was supposed to refer to the body of a baby that was actually found in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin in 1973. In 2007 Ms Owen  persuaded a jury at a Coroner's Court to declare that she was the mother of this first murdered, baby However by 2005 she was already making additional claims about another baby to whom she said she gave birth in 1975 when she was 14. This second baby was supposedly buried in the back garden of the family home in Dalkey Co. Dublin. Accordingly in July 2005 the Gardai spent a week digging up the garden of the family home but found nothing. At this stage Cynthia started to make an escalating series of allegations mainly directed at members of An Garda Siochana.  

An article by Marie Halloran in the Irish Times on 11 July 2005 is headed "Dalkey Rape Allegations Made Against two Gardai" and includes the following:

Detectives are examining new rape allegations, against a Garda and a retired Garda, made by the woman at the centre of the Dalkey, co. Dublin abuse case. The two men are to be interviewed, following claims that the woman who is now 43, was raped in the 1970s by them. The allegations are understood to have been made in the past two weeks, and are being treated by the Gardai with "skepticism", according to one Garda source, in part because of the delay in making the claims. [My emphasis]

According to a Garda spokesperson, "a lot of information has been put forward" and a number of people have been named by the woman, known as Niamh and all information would be examined........

An article in the Sunday Independent the previous day about "Niamh" (as she was then referred to by the media)  confirmed that:
A conference on the case is due to be held this week in the wake of further claims by Niamh that she was prostituted in her teens at the house once her father had lost interest in her. [Garda] Officers who have been investigating her case for 10 years say the first they heard of these claims was in the media.

While "Niamh's" disappointment with the police failure to find the body of a second baby in 2005 may have been the immediate occasion for her new allegations, she probably had a  pre-existing grievance against the Gardai. According to a report by Cormac O'Keefe in the Irish Examiner on 8 July:
Prior to this, in 1994, Niamh told gardai she had been sexually abused by her father and a brother. She later told gardai about the pregnancies, which she said were the result of sexual abuse. Garda sources have said the information from Niamh, a result of regression therapy, [my emphasis] has been sketchy. 

Garda investigations in 1994 and 1995 resulted in a number of files being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP ruled against prosecution on the grounds of lack of independent evidence and the passage of time.

An article in the UK Guardian confirms that 
Owen attempted to bring the case against her parents to the prosecuting authorities seven times, but each time it came back citing lack of evidence.
The same article also gives some indication of WHY the prosecuting authorities had difficulty with her evidence. After she married in the UK and had a child  in the 1980s
By now,  Owen was suffering from post-traumatic stress, nightmares and flashbacks. On the anniversary of her baby's death, everything would come rushing back and it seemed to be getting worse at time went on.

"Regression Therapy" and "Recovered Memory" cut little ice in Ireland in the 1990s - although belief in the latter may have become more acceptable in recent years, I regret to say. Thankfully, Satanic Ritual Abuse has always been regarded as incredible in Ireland but Cynthia Owen spent many years in the UK and her "memories" seem to have developed in the 1980s when SRA hysteria was at its height in the UK and the USA. And she continued to insist that these memories were true long after the demise of that witch-hunt. 

It is clear Cynthia Owen's revised allegations of Satanic Ritual Abuse against her family and the Gardai in 2005 also emerged as the result of a type of "therapy". According to an article by Darren Boyle in the Sunday Mirror on 18 February 2007:
A clinical psychologist has said four men at the centre of the Dalkey house of horrors case are STILL a significant risk to children.  This follows the verdict of a jury at the inquest of a murdered infant girl.The jury of six men and six women accepted Cynthia Owen's account that she had given birth to baby Noleen on April 4, 1973 at the family's home in Dalkey, Co Dublin. 

It is understood that gardai will investigate claims of a paedophile ring in operation in South Co Dublin during the 1970s as well as claims of satanic child sexual abuse.  [My emphasis]

During the four-day inquest, the clinical psychologist Dawn Henderson gave evidence of her treatment sessions with child sex abuse survivor Cynthia Owen. Dr Henderson treated Mrs Owen for three and a half years over 71 sessions of an hour and a half each. Under oath before the inquest at Dublin County Coroner's Court, Dr Henderson said she still had "major concerns about the safety of children" in contact with the men named as A, C, D and E. 

Mr C was named in the inquest as Peter Murphy Jnr. He was accused of raping his two sisters Cynthia and Frances and his brothers Martin and Michael. Mr Murphy said his siblings had "made up those memories". The four men are accused of sexually abusing Cynthia Owen. Dr Henderson said she had an obligation to alert authorities to her concerns. The psychologist said she had "no doubts as to the truthfulness" of Mrs Owen's accounts of child sexual abuse at the hands of a number of relatives.
Dr Henderson said Mrs Owen had told her about satanic abuse and a paedophile ring in operation as she grew up. [My emphasis]

An article in the Irish Times on 15 February 2007 Dalkey Baby Story 'Very Credible' confirms that  Dr Dawn Henderson was  "a clinical psychologist for the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales", and had said that Cynthia Owens "had relayed details of "satanic abuse" and a "paedophile ring". According to the Irish Times "Dr Henderson treated Ms Owen in Wales from 2001 to 2004 and said she had "no doubt whatsoever" about the truthfulness of her allegations."  Dr Henderson also said she used "cognitive behaviour therapy" when treating Ms Owen and at no time used "regression therapy," which she said had been widely discredited. So that's OK then!

On at least eight occasions a file was regarding Ms Owens developing allegations was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Each time the DPP recommended no prosecution. In 2007 - following the verdict of the coroner's court -  the case was also examined by senior counsel Patrick Gageby on behalf of the then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell. No further action was recommended by the barrister. The allegations were also investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2011, which told one of the accused retired Garda Frank Mullen that nothing had been proven against him. 

Sergeant Maurice McCabe and Alan Shatter (2014)

Then Ireland's only SRA case started to intersect with the claims being made by garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe - of whom I have written on a number of occasions.  In February 2014 the Government agreed that a senior counsel was to examine claims being made by Sergeant McCabe that the force mishandled a series of cases involving abduction, assault and murder. On 25 February 2014, Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that senior counsel Seán Guerin was to conduct an independent examination of the cases to see if there were grounds for the establishment of an Commission of Investigation. Naturally the allegations made by Cynthia Owen were quickly added to the dossier of files to be examined by the Senior Counsel. Alan Shatter was Minister for Justice at the time. Ms Owen expressed her frustration and disappointment in Minister Shatter’s lack of action on her behalf - especially as he had been her legal representative for four years in the 1990s AND had called for a full review of the the 1973 file while working in private practice in 2007. However he was now backtracking fast from his former client and earlier in 2014 had refused her request for an inquiry - citing the 2007 report by Patrick Gageby!

At the end of 2015 it emerged that the review panel looking into over 200 allegations of Garda malpractice recommended no further action in relation to the allegations by Cynthia Owens. Apparently in reaction to this In January 2016 Cynthia Owen uploaded her allegations, including some new ones onto a Facebook page. She identified 12 people by name - including Frank Mullen - who she claims abused her.

The media did not identify the accused persons but Frank Mullen took the major decision to identify himself  in an interview with Michael Clifford which was published in  the Irish Examiner on 2 May 2016.  He told Michael Clifford that the cloud of suspicion that had hung over him had a major adverse impact on his life and that of those around him. He didn’t want things to end that way. “We’re five generations in Dalkey and I couldn’t leave a legacy like that behind me. I had to clear my name before I departed this world.”

The Ordeal of Frank Mullen

Frank Mullen was - unsurprisingly - the only one of the twelve men named by Cynthia Owen in her Facebook post, to agree to go public and give interviews to the media. (The post was taken down after a week but echoes of it remain online).  I have written about Mr. Mullen in the second part of my previous article on Satanic Ritual Abuse in Ireland.

Irish Examiner journalist Michael Clifford published at least two articles about Frank Mullen. The first dated 3 May 2016 is entitled Frank Mullen: ‘I couldn’t leave a legacy like that behind me’ with the subtitle "Frank Mullen, an ex-garda, wants vindication from wild accusations over the last 10 years, writes Michael Clifford". The second dated  29 July 2017 has the significant title Frank Mullen dies trying to clear his name with subtitle 
He was left with a conundrum: How do you disprove an allegation of historic sexual abuse, writes Michael Clifford

Some extracts from the articles;
The family has received support from friends in their community, but Mr Mullen feels the State agencies, particularly the gardaí, have not investigated the matters properly, which, if they did, he says, would completely vindicate him. “It’s gone on for over 10 years and different chief superintendents have given me promises that my name would be cleared,” he says.

“The file has never been finished and my name has not been properly vindicated. I carried out my own investigations and gave them the information but that doesn’t appear to have been taken into account.” His wife concurs. “Frank gave 27 years of his life to An Garda Síochána so I felt very hurt with the way he has been treated.

[No doubt the Garda Chief Superintendents did their best for a retired member of the force. The difficulty is in proving that an accuser is lying. ]

[Frank Mullen] says he can’t fathom how his name, or that of the other men, were the subject of these allegations. All of us whom she accused were well known within the community so maybe that was why she used our names. [My emphasis] That’s the only reason we can think of,” he says.

[ This is a key aspect. Several years ago I wrote an article about a number of priests of Bishops and priests who have been falsely accused of child abuse or covering up such abuse. All of them were widely known - including three Archbishops. (The island of Ireland is divided into a total of four Archbishoprics).] 

During all this time, Owen regularly featured in the media, including The Late, Late Show. She wrote a book, Living With Evil, [published October 2009] which detailed her harrowing upbringing. Regularly, she called for a public inquiry into the whole affair.

[As I recall, she briefly mentioned "ritual abuse" during her Late Late Show interview (in 2010?) but presenter Ryan Tubridy made no attempt to question her about that aspect of her story. "Satanic Ritual Abuse has no credibility in Ireland!]

Last year, [2015] Mr Mullen’s long tenure with Dalkey United came to an end. He had been one of the founder members of the club more than 50 years ago. Among the players he mentored and remained friends with was Irish football legend Paul McGrath. Mr Mullen says he was asked to leave the club as a result of the controversy that swirled around the allegations made against him. “I was asked to resign pending all these investigations and rumours and I refused. Then they expelled me without even allowing me to produce evidence. I cried my eyes out.”

The club’s chairman, Colin Beecham, told the Irish Examiner that the club had no comment to make on the matter.

[I suspect that it was pressure from parents that forced the club's hand. In Ireland today, hysteria and "guilty until proven innocent" are the default positions in relation to allegations of child abuse. ]

The second Irish Examiner article by Michael Clifford is dated 29 July 2017 just days after the death of Frank Mullen. Michael Clifford begins:
Frank Mullen died last Sunday before he could clear his name. For more than the last 10 years of his life, he had been haunted by allegations of the terrible crimes. He had been accused of involvement in a paedophile ring, covering up the murder of a newborn baby, and even being responsible for killing a family of 13 in a work of arson.

And he provides this significant explanation for society's failure to punish false accusers and to support the victims of their vicious lies:
There is rarely much help for somebody trying to disprove these kinds of allegations. Not from politicians, for whom the cause could easily lose votes. Most of the media shy away also. Everybody is acutely aware of the history of a failure to listen to abuse victims.

Is Cynthia Owen herself unaware of her invulnerability? In an article in the Sunday World on 7 January 2016 ‘Dalkey House of Horrors’ victim names members of paedophile sex ringjournalist Nicola Tallant writes::

In an extraordinary move this week she has published the names and photos of the men she accuses and challenged them to sue.

She said: “Today it ends, no more silence. Hit me with your best shot, what have I to lose? You already took two of my children, and my three siblings, you already took my body, my mind, my heart and my soul. But there’s one thing you’re not getting, my courage“Today, I show the world what I looked like while you were raping me, and what you looked like too. Today, you live with it, I have had to live with it for all these years. Now it’s your turn.” [Emphasis is mine]

Indeed what had she to lose? She published the names and photos of the six surviving members of the 12-strong "paedophile ring" on Facebook. - and her post was quickly removed. If the six had sued they would have given her enormous publicity in the mass media and to what purpose? Is she in a position to pay their legal fees, let alone damages? And even though the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria never took root in Ireland, is it possible for an individual to prove that that they did not belong to such a group? 
In Ireland today, no courage is required to make such claims. In fact we actively facilitate liars, fanatics - and mentally disturbed persons - to abuse Frank Mullen and other innocents! 

Police Chief Constable Mike Veale and the Return of Recovered Memory in the UK

As per the Wikipedia article on former Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath (who died in July 2005):
In August 2015 several police forces were investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by Heath. Hampshire, Jersey, Kent, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Thames Valley constabularies and London's Metropolitan Police investigated such claims.
(It is worth noting that Cynthia Owen published the names of the members of the alleged Dalkey "paedophile ring" for the first time, only a few months later).

The two most high profile police investigations into allegations about Heath were 
(A)  Operation Midland, the London Metropolitan Police inquiry into historical claims of child abuse and related child homicides made against Heath and several other prominent persons 

(B) Operation Conifer run by Mike Veale the Chief Constable of Wiltshire. The Wiki article on Heath summarises this operation as follows:
In November 2016 The Guardian reported that a leading criminologist, Richard Hoskins, had stated that the evidence used against Heath in Operation Conifer, including discredited allegations of satanic ritual abuse, was "preposterous", "fantastical" and gained through the "controversial" practice of recovered-memory therapy. [My emphasis] The Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner discussed the future of the investigation with the Wiltshire chief constable, Mike Veale. In December the same paper reported that 15 people had made complaints of sexual abuse against Heath. That same month, chief constable Veale issued a video statement in which he said the satanic ritual abuse allegation "does not relate to Sir Edward Heath".

In March 2017 Operation Conifer was closed having cost a reported £1.5 million over two years, as no corroborating evidence had been found in any of the total 42 allegations by 40 individuals (including three different names used by one person).

The Wiki article on the Chief Constable himself gives some further details:
On 10 October 2017, former MP Harvey Proctor who had previously been falsely accused of sexual abuse, criticised Veale for allegedly “trashing” his reputation a second time by reviving claims of an establishment paedophile ring. [The first time was by the Metropolitan Police in  "Operation Midland".] Veale had called for a fresh inquiry into claims of cover-up and conspiracy in Westminster.

On 11 October 2017, Lord Finkelstein stated in an article headed "This disgraceful chief constable must quit" in The Times newspaper that "the investigation of Heath was naive and disproportionate" and that Veale "should go" for "the attempt to win a public relations battle using the moral authority of the police".

And indeed Chief Constable Mike Veale did "quit" although probably not in the manner envisaged by British journalist and Conservative politician  Lord Daniel Finkelstein. The Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson, decided not to renew Veale's contract which had been due to expire in June 2018. In January 2018, Mike Veale was appointed Chief Constable of Cleveland Police!

Why Do the UK Police Support False Allegations against Establishment Figures?

I raised this question at the beginning of the article.  Surely the police are part of the UK Establishment? Why should they  play the kind of socially destructive role one would normally attribute to Anarchists or  mentally disturbed persons? 

Well actually the police in the UK are not fully fledged members of "the Establishment". An anecdote about George Orwell may help to illustrate this fact. When the young Orwell then Eric Blair) finished Eton College he proposed to join the Indian Imperial Police - a highly unusual choice for Etonians who were more likely to become army officers, senior civil servants, diplomats etc. When providing Blair with a reference, his classical tutor A.S.F. Gow remarked that it was the first time he had ever written a reference for a student to join the police!

Perhaps class  plays the same role in the UK that religion does in Ireland and Class Hatred is their version of Anti-clericalism? And when Chief Constables in Wiltshire and London pursue crazy investigations that target Tory politicians with charges of child-murder and rape, perhaps this is the equivalent of Alan Shatter and Charlie Flanagan (former and present Ministers for Justice) laying similar charges against Passionist priests and [former Sister of Mercy] Nora Wall respectively? Of course Messrs Shatter and Flanagan did not allege that Irish priests and nuns engaged in Satanic abuse - because such claims have little credibility in Ireland. However both Shatter and Flanagan whipped up public hysteria in this country in relation to child abuse and the same hysteria is now being turned against An Garda Siochana (Irish police force) itself! 

Conclusion: "This Inquiry is Dead. It Has Ceased To Be"

On 8 October 2017, The Sunday Times published an article by Dominic Lawson, a former editor of The Sunday Telegraph on the subject of Operation Confer.  Entitled "This inquiry is dead. It has ceased to be", with subtitle The hounding of Edward Heath was begun by a fantasist. Now it’s pure Python, it was of course a play on the famous Dead Parrot Sketch in a 1969 episode of  Monty Python's Flying Circus.

This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!

'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

At this stage, I suspect  that Satanic Ritual Abuse really is dead in the UK. In Ireland where we avoided the main panic, the only episode we did experience, is still live (although not very active at present).  Python's Irish Parrot has to be nailed to its perch to create a semblance of life, but very few Irish journalists are prepared to expose the fraud that Cynthia Owen created.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Satanic Ritual Abuse in Ireland (and the Shortage thereof) vs "Normal" False Allegations

Cynthia Owen - the "Dalkey House of Horrors" is only Irish case of  Satanic Ritual Abuse

INTRODUCTION: Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and "Victimless Murders"

This is an extract from a discussion that followed a December 2015 article by Luke Gittos, Law Editor of the Spiked-OnLine website; he called the article  "No Justice in a Year of Moral Crusades" with subheading "But there are signs of a growing public scepticism about the child-abuse panic". (My previous article "Recovered Memory in Ireland" includes material from the same discussion).

During the discussion, I suggest that SRA in the UK, is the equivalent of what I have described in Ireland as "Victimless Murders" i.e. allegations that the Irish Christian Brothers murdered young boys in industrial schools - at times when no boy died of ANY cause! (I also refer to this phenomenon as  "Murder of the Undead".)  For many years the latter lunacy was confined to Ireland but in 2008 it seems to have migrated to the UK in the shape of the Haut de la Garenne "scandal" on the island of Jersey when the local police spent 6 months digging up the former residential school in an attempt to find the murdered bodies of non-existent boys!

Note that I concluded my initial comment with the statement "Anyway I wouldn't be too hopeful about any major changes in 2016 - in Ireland or the UK!" Since then the Wiltshire police have conducted a major investigation into allegations of child abuse and murder against the former British Prime Minister Edward Heath who died in 2005. (This was "Operation Conifer" - a follow up to the equally ludicrous "Operation Midland" by the London Metropolitan Police) The accusers included six persons who made claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse and the Wiltshire police actually spent time looking into those claims before ultimately dismissing them. Well what a relief! However it's clear that I was correct in December 2015 and Luke Gittos hopes were vain.


Kilbarry1 - reply to Luke Gittos 
"In 2015... wider society started to recognise that a climate had developed around allegations of child-sexual abuse and rape that was not conducive to fairness and impartiality .... Some observers recognised that the climate that Yewtree had created had been over the top ......There is hope on the horizon ......" [quoted from the article by Luke Gittos]

Dream on. I have been following the child abuse hysteria in Ireland for the best part of 20 years now and I have seen hope come and go, on more than one occasion. In 2003/04 there seemed to be a major change. The Gardai (police) had spent years investigating claims of child murder by the Christian Brothers in Letterfrack and Artane - including one highly publicised exhumation - and they were sick of it. There were a couple of child rape trials that ended in a fiasco for the prosecution, especially that of (former Sister of Mercy) Nora Wall AND allegations against Irish Bishops that were so crazy that even anti-clerics were embarrassed. (One writer REGRETTED that historic claims of pedophilia against Ireland's most famous churchman John Charles McQuaid, were so ludicrous that they might create sympathy for the late Archbishop). In 2003 an organisation "Let Our Voices Emerge", was founded to represent victims of false allegations of child abuse and the founder, Florence Horsman Hogan, persuaded the Christian Brothers to issue a strong statement about such allegations. Several articles appeared in Irish and UK newspapers about the victims of false claims and even the anti-clerical Irish Times wrote about a "Salem Witch-hunt".

So what happened? Well the 2003 statement was almost the last attempt by a male-dominated Irish Church to stand up for itself. In the mid 1990s the Bishops had successfully threatened to sue the UK Guardian and TV3 for libel and forced both to apologise, but 10 years later the male establishment was giving way to female leadership who more or less took over the Conference of Religious Superiors. The nuns were very conscious of the "pain" felt by people making allegations of child abuse - especially the Sisters of Mercy who took the view that even those who made transparently false claims (including child murder), must have suffered deeply to cause them to act thus. Therefore the proper Christian response was to apologise to such accusers, in order to "heal their pain".

In 2004 the nuns issued their FOURTH apology, in which they made it clear that they unhesitatingly accepted the bona fides of all their accusers. The roof then fell in. One journalist ,who had been writing about false allegations, decided that the Religious were imbeciles and represented no threat; so he reverted to his previous anti-clerical stance. (So I was told by someone who knew him). Other journalists followed suit. Also in 2004 a new Archbishop of Dublin was appointed who took the same stance as the nuns etc.

How much of this is relevant to the UK? Well maybe the rise of female leaders, the feminization of their male counterparts, the glorification of "victims" and the idea that, even their lies are the product of some real suffering at the hands of the male patriarchy??

Anyway I wouldn't be too hopeful about any major changes in 2016 - in Ireland or the UK!

Conversation with Nick

Nick: first reply to   Kilbarry1 
I hear what your saying- these things come & go in waves. But like the ebb tide, the overall trend is receding.

At the end of the day, if the bastards are reduced to pinning accusations on the dead, so be it. You can say I molested 10,000 kids when I'm in my grave for all it will bother me. I know it hurts, but we need more of the deceased family members to come out and openly ridicule complainants' claims- that will hurt them more than anything.

Kilbarry1: first reply to  Nick 
I hope you are correct and possibly you are, in relation to the UK. I have seen many signs of hope appear in Ireland over the years - and be crushed not only by thuggish journalists and politicians, but also by the decadence of some Church leaders - mainly nuns but at least two bishops also.

The current position here, is that the Sisters of Mercy are well aware that their strategy of apologizing to false accusers (in order to heal their pain) has been a catastrophic failure. However they have gutted their credibility and their morale to such an extent that they are LITERALLY beyond redemption. The former male leaders of the Church - both Bishops and Religious superiors - had put up a reasonable fight. I would have preferred them to have done more, but they MIGHT have succeeded if their efforts had not been sabotaged by "liberal" nuns who thought they were transcending ideals like truth and justice, when they were actually perverting them in the name of a bogus "Christian charity". The male leaders have now run out of steam and a couple have copied the nuns in supporting false allegations against their own colleagues. The latter includes the current Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin! ***

Therefore I am VERY cynical about the possibility of any improvement in Ireland - but perhaps the future is brighter in the UK!

***[NOTE dated 17 Feb 2018: The now retired Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh showed a similar tendency to support false accusers against his own priests.]

Nick: second reply to Kilbarry1 
"...their strategy of apologizing to false accusers (in order to heal their pain) has been a catastrophic failure"

And that's key. In the wake of Savile, some (like Stuart Hall) were persuaded to 'confess' in order to assist in the 'healing' process. It's now clear that there is absolutely zero benefit to doing this for the accused- Hall even had his 'unduly lenient' sentence increased after conviction! Once people stand and fight, the emptiness of the Emperor's wardrobe will be revealed...

Kilbarry1: second reply to Nick 
On the basis of my experience in Ireland, I would suggest that one useful strategy is to constantly remind people that some very serious allegations of child abuse are OBVIOUSLY false. Remember the six months of media (and police) hysteria in 2008 about supposed bodies of murdered children at the residential home on Jersey - all sparked off by the discovery of part of a "child's skull" that turned out to be the fragment of a coconut shell! That lunacy has fallen completely out of public consciousness. If even the police had remembered it, they might not have been so keen to believe the recent allegations about Tory MPs murdering five children. As at Haut de la Garenne in Jersey, no names of missing murdered children were even mentioned in relation to the Westminster "scandal". I coined the phrases "Murder of the Undead" and "Victimless Murders" to describe similar claims in Ireland.

I would say that in Ireland, THIS specific kind of lunacy is practically finished - there have been hardly any such allegations since about 2010. The CHIEF reason is that the Gardai (police) are absolutely sick of the hysteria and the associated waste of police time but I hope that my own one-man-campaign had some influence. Is there anyone who could persuade Irish and UK security representatives to get together for a discussion on this subject? I don't think the Gardai will take the lead as it's something of a sore point for them. Are there any open-minded UK top cops who might request advise from their former colonial subjects?? We CAN assist you in your enquiries!

Conversations with Tom Burkard and Gordon McKenzie

Tom Burkard: response to Luke Gittos 
In all this child abuse hysteria, we seem to have forgotten the Cleveland scandal of the late 1980s, when Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt removed 121 children from their parents on their diagnosis of rape made on the basis of their 'anal dilation' test. Had they not been fanatics like one of the more conspicuous posters on this thread, they might have troubled themselves to try their test on all children: on this basis, every child in the world would have been raped. We have had similar examples in the Orkneys and Rochdale where social workers and medical personnel were quite frankly deranged, and used the most unscrupulous means to get 'evidence' of abuse.

I once accompanied a single father to hospital--his 4-yr-old son had been with us when we stopped off for a pint. The boy fell off a bar stool and got a severe nose bleed. The father was reluctant to take him into the doctor, because he came from a working class home and he knew how he'd be received. The following day it was pretty obvious the boy's nose was broken, so he took him in to see his GP. Quite predictably, he was ordered to report to the nearest hospital, and he phoned me and asked me to go along. As I was the director of a children's charity, he hoped that they would take me word.

In fact it took a long time before I had a chance to say a word. Nurses and doctors fell upon us like vultures, making no attempt to disguise their glee at finding another 'victim'. The poor kid had his anus examined by three separate doctors--if that isn't child abuse, I'd like to know what is.

Fortunately, the registrar was a young German woman who quite clearly didn't think a lot of her colleagues. At last the father and I had a chance to say what happened. I'm glad to say that she didn't find it necessary to contact the landlord of the pub, who also witnessed the accident.

At around the same time, a friend of mine--an Army Officer--and his wife decided not to take their 9-mo-old son to a doctor after he'd got a second-degree burn. Even 'respectable' middle-class people were terrified of abuse allegations.

Long before this, my sister 'recovered' memories of child abuse and caused great distress in our family. She was so convincing that even I started to wonder if there might be something in it--until she made an allegation that could not possibly have occurred.

Of course, neither I nor anyone else has any evidence to prove how prevalent sexual abuse of children may be. This is all the more reason to let the legal system take its course--and to end the scandalous abuse of family courts, where due process is ignored, and reporting banned. When I was running the children's charity, BBC4's Children's Affairs reporter warned me to stay out of the clutches of social workers: she knew what happens when cases are tried in camera.

Courts of law are not infallible, but the only alternative is anarchy.

Kilbarry1: reply to Tom Burkard 
The late cultural historian Richard Webster suggested to me that the reason Ireland had practically no Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) cases was the influence of the Catholic Church and its strong opposition to Freudian ideas. The Church opposed Freudianism because of the implications for Catholic doctrines regarding sin, free will and personal responsibility. Richard Webster was an atheist (NOT of the Dawkins persuasion) but he was also a major critic of Freud and and believed that SRA was a logical development of his ideas.

Based on what Richard Webster suggested, I developed my own theory that false allegations of child murder in Ireland are our equivalent of SRA - except that in OUR case Freudian delusions are replaced by open lying. (I am thinking in particular of the cases where no child died of ANY cause during the period in question). However I don't know enough about Freud and he didn't know enough about Ireland to prove anything of the sort. It could be a useful subject for a law graduate looking for a doctoral thesis!

Incidentally the 2008 hysteria about child-killing in Jersey was possibly based on the with-hunt in Ireland re the old industrial school at Letterfrack in Co Galway. Letterfrack is as remote a location in my country as the island of Jersey is vis a vis the UK. Also the Jersey policeman largely responsible was born in Derry!

Gordon McKenzie: reply to Kilbarry1 
My mother was a disciple of the blessed Sigmund, and when I arrived in England in my late 20s I was relieved to find that Freud worship was a decidedly marginal enthusiasm. I never had the patience to read any of his gospels, and regarded advocates of psychoanalysis as narcissistic obsessives. However, I'm not sure how this could have developed into SRA. It's an interesting theory, and I'd be obliged if you could spell it out. I assume this entails something more than an obsessive antipathy to the church.

Kilbarry1: Reply to Gordon McKenzie 
Sorry I can only provide some limited guidance. Richard Webster's website is still maintained by his friends and includes several of his articles on Freud.

I find the theory behind his thesis difficult to understand. I think he is saying that modern society thought it had dispensed with the concepts of Sin, Evil and the Devil but that Freud was a kind of secular Messiah who brought them back in secular form. One of my difficulties with Webster's THEORY is that he emphasizes that Freud re-established the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. However that doctrine states that evil is a basic - although not dominant - element in human nature and that therefore we are all sinful. I would have thought that this doctrine works AGAINST the modern tendency to see child sex abusers as sub-human vermin. Evil is within us and we are not going to eradicate it by transferring our guilt and demonizing any section of humanity no matter how nasty their behaviour.

From a pragmatic point of view however, I think that Webster's theory has a lot to be said for it. Ireland is much influenced by American and British culture. Yet we had practically no trace at all of the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria. I can think of only one partial exception. That was in relation to the "Dalkey House of Horrors" case, where evidently real allegations of abuse were mixed up with some fantasies - including a hint of SRA.

"Two psychologists today told Dublin County Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty that they were in no doubt that Cynthia Owen had been raped and gave birth to a baby that had been murdered.

The inquest [held in 2007] heard the 45-year-old told Dr Dawn Henderson that she had been the victim of satanic abuse and also mentioned a paedophile ring, details of which she did not want disclosed at the hearing."

The lady in question was born in Ireland but spent decades in the UK - which I think is very significant. I suspect that the absence of SRA here (and the lesser role of Recovered Memory compared to the US and UK) is due to the influence of the Catholic Church. OK this does not constitute scientific proof but I still think that it might provide a thesis for a law student to investigate.


Cynthia Owen was born in Dalkey, Co Dublin in 1961 and grew up locally in a family that was highly dysfunctional. Her parents were alcoholics and two of Cynthia’s eight siblings, and a niece who was reared with them, took their own lives in adulthood. Her niece left a detailed account of sexual abuse in their childhood home. In 1977, at the age of 15, Cynthia escaped her home when she was sent to live with relatives in Wales. She has, to a large degree, lived in the UK since, where she is happily married with a son.

In 1995, she made a number of allegations about abuse in the home in which she grew up. Included in this was an allegation that she was the mother of a baby found stabbed to death in Dún Laoghaire in 1973. She claimed that her pregnancy had been the result of rape when she was 11. [A coroner’s court  ruled in 2007 that she was the mother of the murdered baby but her father and three of her sisters disputed this.]

Over the years after 1995 she also alleged that her parents — both of whom are deceased — hired her out to a paedophile ring consisting of a total of 12 local men - including three who were Gardaí (Irish police).  She said this arrangement sometimes happened through her father’s role as caretaker in the local hall, where he came into contact with these men. One of the men Frank Mullen is a retired member of the Gardaí and a founding member of the Garda Representative Association. He went public and spoke to the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Frank Mullen says he can’t fathom how his name, or that of the other men, were the subject of these allegations. All of us whom she accused were well known within the community so maybe that was why she used our names. That’s the only reason we can think of,” he told Michael Clifford a journalist for the Irish Examiner in May 2016. Mullen, aged 78 in 2016, had been investigated a number of times by gardaí. On eight occasions a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Each time the DPP recommended no prosecution. In 2007 - following the verdict of the coroner's court -  the case was also examined by senior counsel Patrick Gageby on behalf of the then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell.  No further action was recommended by the barrister. The allegations were also investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2011, which told Mr Mullen that nothing had been proven against him.

Satanic Ritual Abuse
The HSE told Frank Mullen in 2011 that among the allegations against him that it was investigating, was one that Cynthia Owen had been “brought to Dalkey Island on two or three times where she was abused in a ‘satanic’ way. There were goats involved in the ritual.”

In January 2016, Cynthia Owen uploaded further allegations on a Facebook page. She identified Frank Mullen by name, along with others who she claims abused her. One line of the post stated: “I was also taken to a place called the Hellfire club in Rathfarnham by garda Frank Mullen and sold to me there too during the satanic abuse rituals [sic].”

This was the first time Mr Mullen had ever heard an allegation of taking her to the Hellfire club, which is located in Rathfarnham, some 15km from Dalkey village. The posting was taken down within a week.

Frank Mullen died in July 2017. In an Irish Examiner article entitled "Frank Mullen Dies Trying To Clear His Name", Michael Clifford wrote about the virtual impossibility of being able to disprove an allegation of historic sex abuse. Seven of the 12 men, Cynthia Owen named as members of a "paedophile ring" were deceased at that stage. Mr Mullen was named by Ms Owen as a main mover in this group but no other person had come forward to claim to have been a victim of the alleged ring.

Clifford wrote:
"He was left with a conundrum: How do you disprove an allegation of historic sexual abuse? Recently, in a different context at the Charleton tribunal, it was suggested that that kind of allegation is “undisprovable”.

"There is no forensic evidence. There are no witnesses. In most cases the circumstantial evidence is threadbare. To a large extent it is entirely down to the word of the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim. This makes an allegation difficult to prove for a criminal prosecution, but at least as difficult to disprove in the court of public opinion. .......

There is rarely much help for somebody trying to disprove these kinds of allegations. Not from politicians, for whom the cause could easily lose votes. Most of the media shy away also. Everybody is acutely aware of the history of a failure to listen to abuse victims. "

Cynthia Owen and the Catholic Church
There seems to be no direct link in this saga, with allegations of child abuse against the Catholic Church.  However in 2010 Cynthia Owen published a book about her life "Living With Evil" and I was not particularly surprised to find the following passage - regarding her time in the local Convent school:

Mother Dorothy marched up the steps to the rows of desks at the back getting closer and closer to mine. "does anybody know what that awful smell is"? she demanded. My stomach was doing awful somersaults by now and I was feeling very hot. I thought I might faint.

"Shall I tell you what it is", she boomed. She was sniffing very dramatically, as if she had found the source of the foul smell and she was walking straight towards me with her eyes on fire. "The smell is dirty knickers" she shrieked. I was so shocked by what she said I blushed bright scarlet. I could feel my heart pumping blood furiously to my face. Nobody ever talked about underwear in our house, let alone dirty knickers. To hear a nun say that took my breath away. 

"You might well feel embarrassed Cynthia Murphy", she went on. "You are the culprit. You are the girl wearing dirty knickers. I can smell them I can smell your dirty knickers".  I wanted to shrivel up and die with shame. My palms were sweating and I hung my head so low that the back of my neck ached, but she hadn't finished yet.

"I'm warning you Cynthia Murphy, wash them out every night or I'm doing a knicker inspection", she barked. "I'm pulling your knickers down and caning you if they are dirty.

This is bog standard, off the shelf stuff that we have been getting since Frank McCourt started the Mis Lit genre of "literature" with Angela's Ashes! However it is the Gardai and not the Catholic Church that are the main targets in this saga.


Apart from the devastating effect on the 12 men accused (and their families) , enormous resources were expended on investigating these allegations by the police, the office of the DPP, health officials etc - without producing any concrete result. Since investigating allegations of child abuse is a specialized procedure, the persons whose time was wasted were often those who would otherwise have been working on CURRENT cases involving the safety of children.  

As far as I am aware, this is the only case in the Irish Republic that featured claims involving Satanic Ritual Abuse. However while Cynthia Owen was born in Ireland she has spent most of her life in the UK and that probably explains a great deal!