Mr A

You probably know that the High Court today issued a hugely significant decision concerning child-abusers.

The facts are simple. Until last week, a man who had sex with a girl younger than fifteen was automatically guilty of statutory rape, whether or not he believed the girl to be older. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that such a law is unconstitutional because it denies the accused the defence of claiming that he believed the girl to be old enough to consent. Consequently, the section of the relevant Act was struck down, and is held never to have been valid. In effect, that particular provision never existed and therefore nobody could ever have committed an offence under it. Accordingly, everybody convicted under this section is now innocent of any crime in the eyes of the law, and furthermore is entitled to compensation for wrongful arrest and wrongful imprisonment. I will come back to this in a minute because the implications grow more appalling by the second.

Today, a person, known only as Mr A, was released from prison as a result of the Supreme Court judgment. Mr A had sex with a 12-year-old girl after getting her drunk. He did not claim that he thought the girl was older than 12. In fact, because she was a friend of his daughter, he knew she was only a child. He fed this child drink, and then raped her.

Now, it seems, raping a twelve-year-old girl is not currently a crime in our country. This man who drugged and raped a twelve-year-old child is innocent of any crime in the eyes of the law, and he has been released from custody. A child, I repeat. A confirmation-age child! Can you fucking believe it?

I didn’t fully understand the implications of the High Court judgment, and so I had a little look at the Irish statute book to see exactly what the wording was. Here is what it says:

Criminal Law Amendment Act 1935

1.(1) Any person who unlawfully and carnally knows any girl under the age of fifteen years shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable on conviction thereof to penal servitude for life or for any term not less than three years or to imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years.

This is the section of the Act that was struck down, and here’s the sinister bit. You’ll notice that there’s no minimum age specified, and consequently, it appears that there is now nothing to prevent anybody having sex with a child of any age whatsoever.

Maybe I’m wrong about this. Maybe I am. Perhaps Gonad will write in to correct this interpretation, and I hope he does because this is one of the rare occasions when I sincerely hope I am not right. But as I understand it at the moment – subject to correction – it seems that not only can every pervert in the land legally abuse children, until the Oireachtas enacts a new law, but every vermin who preyed on children in the past can now get off scot-free, and those who were caught can claim damages against the State. Against you and me, in other words. Furthermore, it seems this danger was identified by the Law Reform Commission fourteen years ago.

So what have we got? A government guilty of two things. They failed to act on the advice of the Law Reform Commission, with the result that we now have not only carte blanche for child abusers, but probably also substantial payouts to the same perverts. This would be bad enough on its own. It would be awful. But they also agreed to underwrite the religious orders to the tune of about a billion or so for their members’ child abuse. Now we’ll probably see the same religious perverts making monetary claims against the State because child abuse was legal all the time.

There’s Celtic Tiger fucking Ireland for ya. Now, Bono! What do you say to that?

By the way. I am in a position to reveal Mr A’s full name: it is Arsehole.

Crime Religion

Oh those feckin old bishops!

Bock is not big into religion, as you might have gathered. Bock, in fact, never sets foot inside a church, synagogue or temple unless, at the end of the ceremony, there is the certain prospect of free drink. I’d say that pretty much rules the mosque completely out, along with the Kingdom Hall.

So why am I haranguing you about religion tonight? Well, I’m not. I’m ranting at you about double standards and hypocrisy, or in other words, the Catholic hierarchy. In particular, I’m talking about this recent event in Drogheda where, it seems, two priests concelebrated a Mass. Not a big deal, you might think. Not a big deal I thought, and in reality something that would normally be well below my radar. But no. It seems to be a mighty deal indeed, involving an investigation by the bishops and Jesus knows what else. The Donegal Gardai, perhaps. Garda Joan Gallagher, even, interrogating them in the Garda dialect. “What the fuck are you fuckin doin’, concelebratin’ Mass, ya wee fuckers?”

No. Stop now. We’ll leave that there for a minute.

The reason?

Well, if you’re truly one of Bock’s People, you won’t believe this, but here we go anyway. The reason is that one of the priests is Roman Catholic and the other priest is Anglican Catholic. Fuck, of course!! Hand me down my priest-gun, Martha, there’s gonna be trouble tonight. The bishops, both of them, it seems, RC and Prod, have ordered an investigation. Now watch this space carefully, because you won’t often hear Bock saying anything good about witch-doctors, but both ministers seem like thoroughly decent fellows. In the RC corner we have Father Iggy O’Donovan, an Augustinian, which is relevant, and which I will come back to, I promise you. In the Prod corner, we have Rev Michael Graham, the rector of some church whose name I can’t remember, an all-round decent skin, heartily admired and liked by the entire populace of Drogheda. So far so excellent, or so you would have thought.

What’s bothering me is slightly off the track of the present controversy. You see, I don’t understand this bit about the bishops having an inquiry, and I’ll explain to you why. Whatever about the Church of Ireland bishop, who has authority over his rector, I don’t get the RC part. And the reason I don’t get it is because I thought secular bishops in the RC tradition had no authority over priests who were members of an order, as Iggy O’Donovan is.

How do I know this? I don’t. I only believe it because Cardinal Cathal Daly said so, and he should know. I’m old enough to remember that vile bastard Brendan Smyth, a priest of the Norbertine order who sexually abused children for fifty years or more with the connivance of his superiors. He was the first such clerical pervert to be outed and I can remember an interview on RTE with his local bishop, the saintly Cardinal Cathal Daly, or Whistlin’ Cathal, as we used to call him affectionately. Now, when asked why he didn’t intervene to stop this bastard Smyth from raping children, the saintly Cathal explained that Smyth was a member of an order and therefore outside his control, as he only had authority over the diocesan priests. Right, Cathal, that’s ok, so. Incidentally, in the same interview, Cathal explained that the bishops were slow in dealing with child-abuse because they had no experience of it. Right. I see. And yet, despite their vow of celibacy, they seemed to have no difficulty ranting about contraception, another thing they had no experience of, or so you might reasonably think.

Anyhow, that’s getting off the point. What I want to know is this. If Sean Brady, the present Archbishop of Armagh, has the authority to investigate Iggy O’Donovan for carrying out an act of reconciliation and love, why couldn’t his predecessor investigate a child-hating pervert? Why not, indeed? Maybe he really did have the authority all along and could have stopped Smyth if he wanted to. Maybe Whistlin’ Cathal was just telling big fat fucking lies, the saintly bastard.