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Ferns Report: a catalogue of gross serial abuse


Marx

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The Ferns Report on allegations that the Catholic Church covered up sexual abuse of young people by priests will be published this afternoon.

The 271-page report by Justice Frank Murphy was presented to the Cabinet this morning.

A Government spokesperson said the Ferns Report shows a catalogue of gross serial abuse and dereliction of duty in the Ferns Diocese.

The report will not be published on the Internet because of legal advice.

Three and a half years ago Bishop Brendan Comiskey resigned from Ferns in the wake of accusations that he had failed to protect children against the alleged serial rapist Father Sean Fortune, who took his own life in 1999 before standing trial.

Mr Justice Murphy was asked by Government to examine Church and State responses to this and other alleged cover-ups of clerical molestation.

His 271-page report is expected to reveal a pattern of clerical sexual abuse in Co Wexford stretching back to before Dr Comiskey's time and centred on the old Diocesan seminary.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/1025/ferns.html

There are reports that over 20 priests are implicated in abuse allegations
 

KingKane

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David Cochrane said:
Very odd that this wouldn't be published online, anyone know why?

Libero?
I understood some parts were to be read in the Dail record in order that they could be published but legal action could then not be taken regarding them. There is also the possiblity that it is so detailed that it might be considered pornographic and some individuals might access for unsavoury reasons. Hardly bares thinking about.
 

JCSkinner

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A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
 

smiffy

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JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
But why would this affect whether or the report is released online, given that it's being published in hard copy?
 

KingKane

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JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
If that is the case, then the state needs to cut the church loose on this one.
 

civic_critic

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Anyone know what Justice Frank Murphy's CV is? Is he a member of any religious organisations? Is he a member of the Knights of Columbanus, the Stephen's Green Club, the Freemasons? Has he ever been awarded anything by the Papal Nuncio, like Bertie and Royston Brady?

I ask because, given the nature of tribunals and the evident alacrity with which everything is controlled in this country - the Rossiter child's death being another case in point - then we can expect a considerable cover up/whitewash. Thus, if this report constitutes the best possible whitewash they could make of it, I wonder what the real truth is?

I heard it said that what went on in Ferns was worse than elsewhere. I very much doubt that.
 

JCSkinner

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KingKane said:
JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
If that is the case, then the state needs to cut the church loose on this one.
I think we are in agreement that a deal that allowed the State to pick up an open-ended tab for the church's sexual abuse of minors ought never have been done in the first place, least of all by a Minister whose sympathies with the conservative element within the church are well-known.
 

smiffy

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civic_critic said:
I ask because, given the nature of tribunals and the evident alacrity with which everything is controlled in this country - the Rossiter child's death being another case in point - then we can expect a considerable cover up/whitewash. Thus, if this report constitutes the best possible whitewash they could make of it, I wonder what the real truth is?
Here's a thought: why not wait until the report is actually published before condemning it as a whitewash?

You might even like to read it.
 

JCSkinner

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smiffy said:
JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
But why would this affect whether or the report is released online, given that it's being published in hard copy?
Certain parts of it need to be read into the Dail record so that they can be subject to Dail privilege. After that is done, I am sure the report will be available online.
 

michael1965

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JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
How would reading it into the Dail record protect the State against being sued? Is it not in case some of the allegations turn out to be false or defamatory?
 

stringjack

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michael1965 said:
JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
How would reading it into the Dail record protect the State against being sued? Is it not in case some of the allegations turn out to be false or defamatory?
First of all, a claim has to be false if it is to be defamatory; true statements can't constitute defamation. Secondly, to the best of my knowledge, anything said in parliamentary session is immune to the defamation laws; accurately reporting what had been said in parliament would also be protected speech.

(Of course, that only protects against defamation suits.)
 

civic_critic

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smiffy said:
civic_critic said:
I ask because, given the nature of tribunals and the evident alacrity with which everything is controlled in this country - the Rossiter child's death being another case in point - then we can expect a considerable cover up/whitewash. Thus, if this report constitutes the best possible whitewash they could make of it, I wonder what the real truth is?
Here's a thought: why not wait until the report is actually published before condemning it as a whitewash?

You might even like to read it.
I have no doubt given my long experience of this country that the best possible spin has been put on whatever went on. Mostly a whitewash will consist of omissions. I have no faith in any structure in this country - even my telephone bills seem remarkably skewed. I would advise you to be more urgent and less complacent about what bones are thrown to you by those in power in this country.
 

michael1965

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stringjack said:
michael1965 said:
JCSkinner said:
A-G's legal advice relates to the possibility of the State, which effectively indemnified the Church here, being sued by other states over the fact that priests known to have abused children were subsequently transferred to duties and parishes abroad.
How would reading it into the Dail record protect the State against being sued? Is it not in case some of the allegations turn out to be false or defamatory?
First of all, a claim has to be false if it is to be defamatory; true statements can't constitute defamation. Secondly, to the best of my knowledge, anything said in parliamentary session is immune to the defamation laws; accurately reporting what had been said in parliament would also be protected speech.

(Of course, that only protects against defamation suits.)
Actually, a true statement can be defamatory, if it can't be proven to be true. A statement which injures someone's reputation is assumed to be defamatory unless proven otherwise.

In any case, it turns out the report has been published without naming the surviving abusers. BTW I'm not a lawyer, so I'm sure I'll be corrected if what I've said is wrong. I don't think it is though.
 

stringjack

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michael1965 said:
Actually, a true statement can be defamatory, if it can't be proven to be true. A statement which injures someone's reputation is assumed to be defamatory unless proven otherwise.

In any case, it turns out the report has been published without naming the surviving abusers. BTW I'm not a lawyer, so I'm sure I'll be corrected if what I've said is wrong. I don't think it is though.
No, that's right - I was just assuming that there was no distinction between the objective truth-status of a claim and the legal truth-status of a claim (which in law, there isn't, but which there obviously could be outside of that framework).
 

Marx

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There are reports that a national inquiry will take place.
What I want to know will all 21 priests be prosecuted? And those who covered up?
 
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