Rape and murder of a little girl - still a mystery

reknaw

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This is my first attempt to open a new thread, so I hope I'm getting it right.:confused:

This article in yesterday's Indo intrigued me and I wonder why no one here seems to have mentioned it.

It does, however, raise the question of whether religious have more to cover up for than "only" beatings and rape. I believe it is high time for our Government to grow a real pair and just seize every document and record belonging to the church and the religious orders as far back as St. Patrick if needs be. Enough already with the impudent legalistic posturing of the Papal Nuncio and those Medieval mandarins in Rome. If the religious have not committed any crimes, they have nothing to fear.:lol::lol:


Brighid calls for reopening of Connolly murder case - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
 


The OD

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Its an disturbing case indeed from what I have read and anything but full disclosure from the Gardai and the Church would be tantamount to criminal behaviour.

I'm not in the least bit familiar with this case but thanks for the heads up on this reknaw.
 

Daito

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For anyone who is interested in the background to this case, it was covered comprehensively in a book by Barry Cummins called 'Unsolved'.
 

Andrew49

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For anyone who is interested in the background to this case, it was covered comprehensively in a book by Barry Cummins called 'Unsolved'.
Background [from the Sligo Weekender 2004]:

Bernadette’s sister, Anne Guilfoyle, from Ballisodare said that a deceased Passionist priest, Father Columba Kelly from nearby Cloonamahon may hold the answers to her sister’s disappearance. Mrs Guilfoyle said the family had been in denial about some aspects of her sister’s disappearance and murder for years. She said that shortly after Bernadette’s disappearance, county Armagh native Father Kelly moved in with the Connolly family to help her father cope with the huge interest in the case.

“I suppose we were in denial for a long time. I don’t like to be pointing the finger at anyone but the family have their suspicions. It is something you don’t like talking about and it was something we never talked about in the family for years. Fr. Kelly befriended the family. He would go out and collect the post and then opened the letters as we were getting messages from all over the world, saying that he was worried that not all of them were supportive. He stayed with us for a short while and then was gone before she was found. I remember he was always talking and a very authoritative figure about our house. He didn’t stay with us all that long and he always said he wanted to go to Botswana in Africa”.
Father Kelly was sent to Botswana shortly before Bernadette’s body was found. The Passionist Provincial Father Martin Coffey said he regretted the pain the case had caused to all concerned.

“The Connolly family have suffered grievously. Father Columba Kelly’s family were shocked at his sudden death a few years ago and they suffered much pain. At the time of the incident I understand that Columba Kelly was still a student priest so I wonder how he could have stayed with the family. It is sad that this allegation is now coming against him when he is not in a position to defend his good name but I have great sympathy for the Connolly family and hope their pain will come to an end”.
Anne said that her father, who died in 1999, had raised concerns about the priest who befriended them. She said that she believes this priest knew more than he was letting on.

Witnesses on the day of Bernadette’s death pointed to a monastery van which Bernadette passed on her way to her death. Anne said she appreciated the hard work the gardai had put into the case but wondered why they were unable to tell her where Bernadette’s clothes were and what type of forensic material was available for investigation.
Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty told me that they would do everything to move the case forward. I believe my sister’s killer can be caught if the gardai could answer these questions. A short time before her death Bernadette wrote in her copy book that she wanted to become a teacher. She never got the chance. We want closure and we want answers because my father and mother went to their grave without knowing who murdered their daughter. This has been going on for 34 years. Hopefully somebody’s memory will be jogged by this programme tonight and end all our fears and suspicions.
 

cricket

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Unless I'm dreaming, I think this was covered in a tv programme as well a few years back.
 

Catalpa

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Well as they say a man is innocent until proven guilty

- and this man is dead!

So he seems like an easy target for the Church bashers to point the finger at.

But I notice the total lack of names attached to these allegations of 'cover ups' from within the Gardai.

Until such individuals within the Force or retirees from it are prepared to step forward then this really is just idle speculation....

People (outside of the poor childs family) should put up or shut up on this one.
 

Grumpy Jack

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My wife is from rural Co Sligo. Although born after Bernadette Connolly was murdered, she told me that growing up in the 1970s it was widely talked about in the area that a priest from Cloonamahon killed Bernadette and the Church would not allow the Gardai to interview the main suspect or examine the monastery's van which was sign in the area at the time the child vanished.

She also said she and other children were warned to stay clear of Cloonamahon and its priests - as if they were some sort of bogey men.
 

reknaw

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Well as they say a man is innocent until proven guilty

- and this man is dead!

It's hard to argue with your first premise, and impossible to argue with the second. However, no one has actually accused him of anything. Just asked some questions and gotten no answers.:confused:

So he seems like an easy target for the Church bashers to point the finger at.
Paranoia! The church has made itself an easy target by failing to adapt to a situation where it is no longer a law unto itself and nowadays has to answer to the law like everyone else.:rolleyes:

But I notice the total lack of names attached to these allegations of 'cover ups' from within the Gardai.

Until such individuals within the Force or retirees from it are prepared to step forward then this really is just idle speculation....

People (outside of the poor childs family) should put up or shut up on this one.

I do not agree. The poor girl's parents both went to their grave not knowing what beast had murdered their little girl. No one of us could even begin to imagine what grief they had to bear. Her siblings are still alive and deserve to know anything that can be ascertained - one way or another. The order in question could gain a lot of plus points in the public's mind - and maybe some good karma for itself - if it disclosed every scrap of information it has about that priest, why he went to Africa just then, if anything was ever said by anyone. Great, in fact, if they can show that there is nothing at all to blacken his memory.

All I'm saying is: it's high time for the religious to get the message that we are not answerable to them. They are answerable to us. If saying that is "church bashing", then I think I'll change my handle to "basher",:lol:
 

Didimus

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There is a name , inspector Dan Murphy mentioned in this report
Garda authorities and their affiliation to mother Church played a key role in case - National News, Frontpage - Herald.ie
but it's not clear if he is still alive.
One point of information could be easily cleared up. The quotes from Andrew suggests that Fr Columba was a student at the time and less than 4 months after the murder he moved to Botswana. If this was a planned move the order should have records of his appointment to Botswana. These appointments would normally be made well in advance of his travel. If the move was made quickly it obviously deepens the suspicion.
Brighid McLoughlin has written about this before where she has identified a different suspect:
Savagery in Sligo - Features, Unsorted - Independent.ie
It's worth reading.


" Back in Dublin I called retired Detective John Courtney, who headed the murder investigation 30 years ago.
"Bob Reynolds?" he said. "I'd never forget him. He was arrested in 1973 for the abduction, rape and attempted murder of a nine-year-old girl in Castlebar.
"Reynolds lured her into his car and drove her to a remote spot where he tried to smother her after he had raped her. He was convicted and served six years in an Irish prison."
"Did you know that he was seen by Sandy Perceval on the very lane that Bernadette Connolly was abducted?"
Courtney confirmed that Reynolds had indeed been investigated by the gardai for this murder and that Reynolds had also been interviewed by the gardai as part of the investigative process.
 

Kilbarry

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Evening Herald and Child Killing Claims

I posted this on the Harry's Place blog today - as part of a discussion on Islamism - just after I read today's Evening Herald article "Church Cover-Up Murder Reopened." The Islamism discussion is not the best context but their discussion on child abuse allegations finished a day or 2 ago.

Harry's Place What Is Islamism?
Islamism is a slippery concept but I define it roughly as a form of political Islam whose adherents are motivated by HATRED of enemies rather than by any desire to convert them. Thus it is closer to secular ideologies like Nazism and Communism than to historical Islam. (Stalin was no more trying to convert capitalists than Hitler was Jews.)

On a different but related topic I said in a previous post that Ireland went through a Blood Libel hyteria between 1996 and 2004 approx when the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy were accused by murdering children. (Since many of the claims related to times when no child died of any cause I coined the phrase “Murder of the Undead”.) This hysteria has just re-ignited and it is driven by secular liberals not by fundamentalists of any stripe.

There is an article in the Evening Herald today “Church Cover-Up Murder Re-opened” about the unsolved murder of a 10 year old girl Bernadette Connolly in 1970. The Herald names a priest (naturally deceased) as the alleged murderer and says that a religious brother who is still alive “also had major questions”. The Herald is a scandal sheet and the hysteria is also being driven by a motor mouth radio shock-jock who (unusually) has had several complaints against him upheld by the broadcasting complaints commission.

However the Herald now states that “Minister [for Justice] Dermot Ahern revealed today that a garda (police) Assistant Commissioner has taken possession of the file and that a Garda liaison officer has been directed to make contact with the family. Senior Justice sources told the Herald that the file was reopened following a campaign by this newspaper and on the Gerry Ryan Show last week.”

In 2001 the Evening Herald was heavily involved in allegations that a boy Willie Delaney died following an assault by a Christian Brother and was somewhat abashed when the body was exhumed, the cause of death was established and assault was specially ruled out. By an extra-ordinary co-incidence William Delaney died in 1970, the same year that Bernadette Connolly was murdered. The Herald never gives up!

Ireland is not the only country that is being ripped apart by bogus allegations of child abuse. Almost invariable these originate with secular liberals and feminists e.g. Satanic Ritual Abuse and Recovered Memory. You can imagine what sort of fight these people will put up against Islamic fanatics. They will destroy our society from within and present the Islamists – or related fanatics – with a victory by default.
 

cactusflower

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Ireland is not the only country that is being ripped apart by bogus allegations of child abuse
Any allegation like that should be investigated promptly and without hysteria. However, one rose does not a summer make. The evidence is overwhelming that a very large number of children have been abused. Proper systems need to be in place to provide them with justice, to reduce the chance of future abuse, and to protect the rights and good name of innocent people.
 

Kilbarry

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Any allegation like that should be investigated promptly and without hysteria. However, one rose does not a summer make. The evidence is overwhelming that a very large number of children have been abused. Proper systems need to be in place to provide them with justice, to reduce the chance of future abuse, and to protect the rights and good name of innocent people.
The evidence is, in fact, less than overwhelmimg as numerous false allegations have been made over the years. See the recent discussion on the "Harry's Place" blog which is entitled (oddly enough) "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes".

While I obviously don't agree with some of the other authors, everyone is reasonably civilised. The following is part of my contribution to the argument.

Harry's Place Anglo Saxon Attitudes

Kilbarry1
9 December 2009, 12:02 am
Most of the allegations against Catholic clergy are false. In the USA a huge number are based on Recovered Memory a form of voodoo brain science. This includes the headline case of Father Paul Shanley whose accusers claimed he raped them every Sunday for years and that after each rape they forgot about it and came back to him to be raped again. His appeal is before the Massacheutetts Supreme Court at present – the State that gave us the Salem Witch-Hunt.

In Ireland for several years up to 2004 (approx) we had claims that the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy had murdered children in their care. Since many of these allegations relate to times when no child died of ANY cause, I coined the phrases “Murder of the Undead” and “Victimless Murders”. If you Google these you will come across my correspondance with one accuser who makes noises about libel but is unable to produce the names of the boys who did NOT die when he was in a residential school run by the Christian Brothers.

These claims were not made by nutcases but by leading members of “Victims’” groups. They were endorsed by leading journalists – including the Religious Affairs correspondent of the Irish Times our most “intellectual” journal which thereby endorsed Blood Libel. They were also supported by historian Diarmaid Ferriter. The following is from page 393/94 of his book “The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000″. His claims are based on “evidence” by Mary Raftery the RTE producer/director who is the individual most responsible for our Irish Salem.

“In the 1990s, it was discovered that the most glaring omissions from the archive files of the industrial-school system related to information concerning the deaths of children – it is highly unlikely that those missing or unaccounted for wandered innocently outside the gates of industrial schools and became lost and untraceable. [104]. It is more probable, though difficult to prove conclusively, that a small number of Irish children were beaten to death in state-financed, religious-run institutions.”

Note 104: Mary Raftery and Eoin O’Sullivan “Suffer The Little Children: The Inside Story of Ireland’s Industrial Schools”, (Dublin, 1999), page 233-4 and 271-274″

Kilbarry1
9 December 2009, 12:46 am

If my comment above reminds anybody of the child-killing hysteria on the island of Jersey last year, it is because THAT fake scandal was based on our Irish witch-hunt. Haut de la Garenne in Jersey is one of the most remote parts of the UK. Letterfrack in Co Galway is in a very remote area of Ireland and it was the focus of lunatic allegations featuring a Holocaust and hundreds of secret graves. ALSO the UK policeman responsible for the Jersey fiasco was born in Derry.

The Jersey “scandal” broke on 24 February 2008 with the alleged discovery of part of a child’s skull. I denounced it as a fake on 26 February in a comment – no longer available – on a Times article. However on 24 March I posted on the Community Care (Social Workers) blog as follows:

Jersey: the floodgates open - The Social Work Blog

In ireland between 1999 and 2004 we had a large number of allegations that children had been killed in industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers. These included accusations in a major Sunday Newspaper of mass killing (”a Holocaust”) at Letterfrack in Co. Galway. Not a single claim has proved to be correct. This is not surprising as several relate to periods when no child died of ANY cause. (I call these “Murder of the Undead” allegations).

One body was exhumed and proved to be a death from natural causes but the resulting publicity resulted in dozens of child abuse claims within a couple of weeks against the institution.

The child killing allegations were not made by isolated nutcases but by major newspapers and by leading members of “victims” organisations. They have now ceased but the people responsible have not been called to account.

What is happening in Jersey looks like a repeat of our Irish witch-hunt.


As it turned out, I was perfectly right. The Jersey Child-Killing Witch-Hunt collapsed at the end of 2008. The Evening Herald are now trying to start another one!
 
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This is my first attempt to open a new thread, so I hope I'm getting it right.:confused:

This article in yesterday's Indo intrigued me and I wonder why no one here seems to have mentioned it.

It does, however, raise the question of whether religious have more to cover up for than "only" beatings and rape. I believe it is high time for our Government to grow a real pair and just seize every document and record belonging to the church and the religious orders as far back as St. Patrick if needs be. Enough already with the impudent legalistic posturing of the Papal Nuncio and those Medieval mandarins in Rome. If the religious have not committed any crimes, they have nothing to fear.:lol::lol:


Brighid calls for reopening of Connolly murder case - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
The collusion between the various bodies involved suggests,strongly , that another, binding factor underpins these groups.We know a lot of Gaurds/politicians are masons,we know the Church has been under Masonic control/attack for 2 hundred years.Is this the X factor,the brotherhood that promises protection and cover-up for it's members,that glues these groups together?
 

imokyrok

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Any allegation like that should be investigated promptly and without hysteria. However, one rose does not a summer make. The evidence is overwhelming that a very large number of children have been abused. Proper systems need to be in place to provide them with justice, to reduce the chance of future abuse, and to protect the rights and good name of innocent people.
Does anyone here really believe that if a forensic anthropologist was to disinter the remains of children buried in plots attached to these institutions that evidence won't be found of children who may have died from "injuries"?

The church was willing to cover up rape and murder in Texas by a priest. We already know that they covered up rape here. Is murder or manslaughter unlikely? Hardly!
 

Didimus

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The collusion between the various bodies involved suggests,strongly , that another, binding factor underpins these groups.We know a lot of Gaurds/politicians are masons,we know the Church has been under Masonic control/attack for 2 hundred years.Is this the X factor,the brotherhood that promises protection and cover-up for it's members,that glues these groups together?
Think you're maybe getting your conspiratorial partners mixed up there. Knights of Columbanus might make sense in this jurisdiction.
Church has been under control/attack for 200 years? yeahbutnobutyeah?
 

kerdasi amaq

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However, the main point seems to be that the case was never properly investigated: at the time.
 

Kilbarry

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Blood Libels

Does anyone here really believe that if a forensic anthropologist was to disinter the remains of children buried in plots attached to these institutions that evidence won't be found of children who may have died from "injuries"?

The church was willing to cover up rape and murder in Texas by a priest. We already know that they covered up rape here. Is murder or manslaughter unlikely? Hardly!
And if a forensic anthropologist was to disinter the remains of children buried in Jewish graveyards, perhaps he would find evidence that some had been beaten to death by Rabbis? This is Blood Libel.

The Evening Herald is making the running in this latest bout of hysteria. It did the same when the body of William Delaney was exhumed in April 2001, following claims that his death in 1970 had been caused by a beating from a Christian Brother in Letterfrack. Immediately after the exhumation - I think it was on 20 April - the Evening Herald placed placards all over Dublin announcing "Now It's Murder Inquiry". A few days later it was revealed that the boy died of an ear infection that had spread to his brain - and specifically there was no evidence of an assault. . The Evening Herald buried THAT conclusion in an inside page.

By a strange co-incidence 20 April was Hitler's birthday and the Nazi pornographer Julius Streicher used to claim that Jews had murdered Christian boys. The latter fact is NOT a co-incidence!!
 

Kilbarry

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.....

This article in yesterday's Indo intrigued me and I wonder why no one here seems to have mentioned it.

It does, however, raise the question of whether religious have more to cover up for than "only" beatings and rape. I believe it is high time for our Government to grow a real pair and just seize every document and record belonging to the church and the religious orders as far back as St. Patrick if needs be. Enough already with the impudent legalistic posturing of the Papal Nuncio and those Medieval mandarins in Rome. If the religious have not committed any crimes, they have nothing to fear.:lol::lol:


Brighid calls for reopening of Connolly murder case - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
From the article in the Sunday Independent on December 06 2009

"Brighid calls for reopening of Connolly murder case"

FRUSTRATED: Writer and artist Brighid McLaughlin, found her attempts to investigate the murder of Bernadette Connolly, foiled by Fr Columba Oliver Kelly.

The well-known artist and former journalist Brighid McLaughlin has joined broadcaster Gerry Ryan in calling for the reopening of the investigation into the murder of 10-year-old Sligo girl Bernadette Connolly, which gardai said was stopped after high level intervention by the Catholic Church. More than any other journalist, McLaughlin pursued the case of the little girl who was abducted, raped and murdered in Sligo in 1970.

Detectives involved in the case said they met a wall of silence when they tried to interview clergy, and later discovered that a copy of the murder file which named two priests as suspects was handed over to the Catholic hierarchy of the time.


She sounds absolutely heroic doesn't she - and frustrated at every turn by the evil Catholic Church. However this is not the first time that Brighid McLaughlin has made headlines in the Sunday Independent in relation to murder a murder inquiry. In fact the last time it related to MASS MURDER.

On 22 December 2002 the Sunday Independent published a long article by Brighid McLaughlin regarding Mannix Flynn and Letterfrack industrial school. Mr. Flynn (and Ms. McLaughlin) claimed there had been a "Holocaust" in Letterfrack with bodies buried all over the grounds and also a top people's paedophile ring.

The Christian Brothers replied and pointed out that the last boy to die in Letterfrack was buried there more than 25 years before Mannix Flynn's time.

A summary of the article and of the Christian Brother's reply can be found at CYNTHIA OWEN AND MANNIX FLYNN

This is the full text of the Brothers reply - from the Sunday Independent on 12 January 2003

Abuse: 'God will make the truth cry out'

Sir
I refer to the interview by Brighid McLaughlin with Mannix Flynn in your paper on December 22, 2002. It is not intended here to take from or dilute the many acknowledgements and apologies that the Christian Brothers have made for any abuse that occurred in institutions under their management, including Letterfrack. However, please permit me to make the following points.

It is not true for Mr Flynn to claim that he was sent to Letterfrack Industrial School under an "unsigned warrant". Two such "warrants" exist and were signed by a Justice of the District Court. It is also untrue for him to claim that "the whole apparatus for sending children to Letterfrack was illegal". Indeed, his appeal against sentence was withdrawn in open court and his original sentence was extended until he would have reached his 14th birthday.

It is certainly not true to state that young boys were murdered in Letterfrack. The claim that the Gardai in Clifden "uncovered a massive paedophile ring" in Letterfrack is also untrue. This can be checked with the Gardai in Clifden. It follows, therefore, that it is not true to say that "boys murdered" were "buried like dogs all over the 5,000 acres of Letterfrack wilderness". All who died are buried in the cemetery there or in cemeteries elsewhere. No boy died in Letterfrack while Mannix Flynn was there in 1968-1969. The last boy to die there was buried in the cemetery in 1942.

Surely it is fair to expect that journalists would check the truth of all claims. Your newspaper was supplied by the Christian Brothers with clear information concerning the boys who died and were buried at Letterfrack. The date, place and cause of every death are all fully documented. That information has been supplied to the Gardai and is available for every appropriate authority or person who needs access to it.

The Christian Brothers pray with the author of the article that "God will make the truth cry out". However, they also hope that the "deafening silence" to which she refers will continue to be broken by a fair presentation of fact and truth. In view of the falsehoods listed above, together with other matters raised in the article, every fair-minded person must ask what else is untrue.

Brother Edmund Garvey, Director of Communications, Christian Brothers, Dublin 7.
 

lady go ga ga

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no mystery the religious orders shut down the investigation headed in Dublin, the prime suspect who was in the local monastery has since died im sure the vatican also knew about this too, the girl was raped strangled thrown in a drain/ditch beside a hedge row four years later only her bones a small piece of her anorak about her, i really hope her family can receive some justice the bigger picture seems to suggest that her blood is on a lot of hands.
 


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