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.

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