Sunday January 03 2010

Controversial singer Sinead O’Connor has said that the Pope should come to Ireland to personally apologise to the Irish people for the litany of crimes against children outlined in the Ryan and Murphy reports.

“In 1987, the Church in Ireland took out an insurance policy to protect themselves from claims they foresaw would be brought against them from survivors of clerical abuse and their families. If they knew as far back as 1987, why did they not deal with the issue then?” she said.

“In all this time and with the Ryan report and now the Murphy report, why did neither Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict get on a plane and come to Ireland to meet the survivors, to personally apologise and thank them for their bravery in coming forward?

“It seems to me the Church themselves should have been the ones to bring this matter into the public arena,” she said. “One of the reasons I feel so passionately about these issues is that I am myself a survivor of severe child abuse.”

She said that by resigning, Catholic bishops were actually getting off the hook.

“I myself would go much further and say that the Vatican itself should now be the subject of criminal investigation into what went on in the Irish Catholic Church,” she says. “They knew in 1987 what was going on in the Irish Church — they did nothing but act to preserve their business interests.”

The singer, who was also known as Sister Bernadette, said that she had spoken to survivors and people who campaigned for years to expose what was going on in the Church and she was humbled by their stories.

“These are the people who acted in the interests of children and in the interests of Catholicism. Ireland owes them a massive debt of gratitude for bringing us the truth and therefore allowing us to disentangle ourselves from. . . oppression and lies.”

She also called on Children’s Minister Barry Andrews to organise for a monument, to be paid for by the Catholic Church, to be erected in every diocese “to honour and thank these brave people who have fought to be heard and changed the course of Irish history”.

“Their names should be set in stone so that this country will never forget their courage and they will remain an inspiration for generations to come,” she added.

Sunday Independent


9 Responses to “Pope should visit Ireland and apologise to victims — O’Connor”

  1. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Barry, your credibility rises by the day. May I request union card no 1. If a fee is attached I am willing to pay.

  2. R Barry says:

    Hello Paddy and Correspondents there.

    I want to float an idea. Forgive me if this has already been looked at by others who may be progressing the following concept.

    Many organisations exist in Ireland (and elsewhere) which represent victims in various locations and under various names.
    The sum of all these efforts is fragmented and easily frustrated by church, state, etc. Power exists in numbers and a UNION of SURVIVORS ORGANISATIONS could act to represent common and specific themes, interests and activities.

    The UNION in its own right might not be a body with a theme other than to act as a gathering point to provide representation with other non survivor organisations. By this I mean that a Union would simply act to facilitate interest groups in a neutral way within a set of guidelines agreed by the member organisations. the union would also provide a web site of information and useful links and so on.

    Such an organisation would have far greater power than the individual component organisations. It would need to have a good web site, a full time manager and funding.
    Some of that funding could be availed privately and some publically and some from the state.

    An objective of the organisation would not be to over-ride the individual position of organisations or individuals but could act to represent their views and interests without naming them and in that way retain the privacy of victims and so on.

    I for one would make a fairly healthy contribution to funding a full time manager for a first period of trial and would assist in setting up the organisation.

    What views might exist on this?

  3. Anne says:

    Damien, I’m definitely up for meeting in Dublin and there is at least 12 more and families e.c.t…To be honest I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.

    I’m in England but I tell you these groups do nothing, so who is representing us? ourselves that’s who!

    Please everyone, Paddy, Barry, Hanora, Damien, FXR, Raymond (and sorry if I forgot anyone!) I am waiting…just waiting for instructions so please keep me informed.

    Kind regards


  4. Hanora Brennan says:

    Angry! So good to see you back and the mind being rapier sharp must be set to work where it’s needed. Many moons ago you predicted this day would happen and how right you were! Get the glass orb out again and regale us with your prophesies! Cead Mile Failte Angry – you’re as welcome as the flowers in May!

  5. damien says:

    I think Sinead means well but i don’t think that man from Rome should ever come to Ireland. This is the man who after meeting Bishop Martin,to discuss the Ryan report, told him to go back to Ireland and find out the truth!!!???.They have been torturing and destroying children’s lives in their prisons for decades. Their credibility is nil. They have no right to moralise or lecture people ever again.Does anyone who contributes to this site want to meet up soon in Dublin,- to discuss all the latest shenanigans with the Bishops and the shenanigans with the “survivor groups”.I think S.O.C.A. UK and S.O.C.A. Ireland area not good voices for survivors. It’s unbelievable,- they have no web site.Right of place are an absolute disaster.These people love the media attention and the status that it gives them.

  6. Raymond says:

    Sinead! What are you thinking? Keep that man – the Pope – well away from these shores.

    And write your best song yet, something really stinging, about the indifference of the Irish people to the crimes exposed in the Ryan and Murphy Reports.

  7. Angry says:

    I read with interest the comments of bishop Hegarty to his present disclaimer of having any knowledge of “”errant clerics”” within his diocese while he presided as bishop . Is this the same bishop Hegarty responsible for the “”STEWARDSHIP FUND”” which comprised a secret levy being placed on parochial funds of some 10%, and to be used for compensating victims of clerical sexual abuse .??. Is this the same bishop Hegarty who was taken to task by his parish priests when news of this “”STEWARDSHIP FUND”” reached them, and he subsequently dropped it like a hot coal ..??.. Is this the same bishop Hegarty who supplied a character reference in court for a priest , or an ex priest caught with some fifteen thousand indecent images of children on his computer..??..

    Presently the airwaves are filled with “”repentent”” bishops all directing their angst at Desmond Connell, poor aul Dessie must feel like Caesar on that fateful morning on the steps of the Senate, where so much Sheffield steel was on display, seeking a “”soft target”” ….. And make no mistake , Dessie currently is a very soft target. The bishops and their current predicament has insensibly generalized itself , it has passed beyond the topic of Mea Culpa`s to the now visible function , so clear for all to see, to a properly concrete concerted effort by the remaining bishops to pursue a finger pointing ploy of apportioning Desmond Connell as the prime mover in suppressing evidence pertaining to the sexual abuse of children by paedophile priests. Such a move by these bishops is reprehensible , and merely serves to highlight their lack of morals when their own positions are under threat . Connell could not have functioned in his capacity as archbishop or cardinal without the full knowledge and co-operation of those serving bishops who formed his inner circle, which included monsignors, and those tasked with writing up the reports and minutes of those meetings which covered the paedophile priests under discussion. We deal here with CONSPIRACY to pervert the course of justice which has to be seen as the primary concern of not only Connell, but his bishops . That in essence was the objective of the hierarchy , CONSPIRACY TO SILENCE , had it been anything else, then the abused children would have been the cause for concern at these hierarchial meetings , but they were`nt, these children were ignored and denegrated in favour of avoiding scandal to the church. It would not be remiss to state at this present time , and in view of the Ferns , Ryan and Murphy reports , that such a gathering of bishops , archbishop or cardinal to sit at a table and take conscious and wilful decisions to deny vulnerable children protection from known paedophile priests, it would NOT be remiss to say that in the case`s of these bishops and hierarchial Grandee`s , that “”religion”” as pertaining to them was merely a manifestation of a mental illness . How OTHERWISE could it be viewed ..??.

    The ducking and diving of these bishops to COLLECTIVELY shoulder responsibility for actions, or lack of them , will ensure that “religion”, in their case, will always remain as a synonym for “hatred” in their COLLECTIVE disregard for vulnerable children . The great social ideal for religion is that it should be the common basis for the unity of civilisation . In that way and manner , it justifies its insight beyond the transient clash of brute forces, something which was overlooked by these Irish bishops as they colluded in a CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE designed solely to save their own necks , while crassly inserting the necks of innocent children into the noose of the marauding clerical paedophile enjoying the protection of his “”caring”” bishop ………

  8. barry clifford says:

    Support Groups And What You Did Not know
    [Part 1 act 1]

    On 15/06/02 Val Grourke and his good friend, Noel Barry, both acting for Right Of Place in Ireland booked into an Inn in London, and it was not just any Inn. It was the four Star Hilton Olympia, one of the most prestigious hotels in the heart of that great city.
    Tired after their journey while carrying the torch and burden of the Institutional Victims that they claimed to represent, which numbered over 15,000, they set down quickly to business over a few drinks. Then a few more, and a few more…… By now the night and early morning had lost its first flush of youth and they were not so young either. They at last decided to retire to their shared room and perhaps bed. Morning would wait a little later in the day.
    When it did arrive the hangover that came with it dulled the senses a bit but not their appetite. They got dressed, and I presume showered and shaved, and headed down for the morning grill. Work of some importance may have been conducted around this time on the telephone and the food was good. So good in fact that the Hilton charged them £264.55. This was of no consequence to Val and Noel, after all were they not here to represent abuse victims, even though many of them had no breakfast at all that morning for they could not afford it. The real world waited outside for them but they did not seem to notice much for they were still nursing that hangover.
    That evening, they had dinner brought to their room for they were burnt out with the trials of the day that weighed heavily on their shoulders. A few more telephone calls was all that was left in them to make. After whispering a few sweet nothings into each others ear while framed in the moonlight, sleep came fast and soundly that night. In the morning there was no time for breakfast and quickly paid for their very short stay. Noel, handed the cashier a Barclaycard after they handed him the bill. Neither showed surprise including Val when it came to £833.19 that included £32.14 for those important phone calls. The intervening years would have made this bill much higher and help pay for at least one of Paris Hilton’s handbags. These were only some of the expenses for those 48 hours. With that, they all lived happily ever after
    These details will never be in the end of year breakdown for that year only the generic disclaimer form that allows any kind of ink but not for truth itself, and leaves the accountant to go home with a clean slate. Part 1 act two will follow in due course.

    Barry Clifford

  9. FXR says:

    I think an investigation of every diocese first would be a good idea. Pigeons need monuments. Humans need justice, compensation and the arrest of the perpetrators.