Should Bishops Remain as Patrons of Our Schools?

This is a post from a new contributor, Mairéad, who normally writes here.


I have been a primary teacher for 28 years, so I think that I am qualified to write about this one.

I have heard many commentators in the media calling for the church to cease their involvement in our schools and hospitals, especially since the publication of the Ryan Report and the Murphy Report.

Some people are saying that Bishops and priests only have titular roles now in our schools. These people are inferring that the church has no power and therefore, can do no harm, so should be left in situ.

In my experience, Bishops and priests do not have merely titular roles in our schools. Let me explain, and then you can tell me what you think.


* The local Catholic Bishop is the Patron of the vast majority of our primary schools.

* The Education Act (1998) made the role of the Patron a legal one, with rights and responsibilities enshrined in law.

* No principal can be appointed to a school, without the Patron sanctioning the appointment.

* No teacher can be appointed to a school, without the Patron sanctioning the appointment.

* The Bishop determines the ethos of the school, and is allowed by law to discriminate against certain teachers. For example, he is allowed to withhold sanction for an appointment if the teacher does not belong to the right religion, or happens to be gay / lesbian / bisexual.

* The Patron has the power to remove someone from the Board of Management, or indeed to dissolve the entire Board of Management.

* The Bishop sends out Religion inspectors (now called “diocesan advisors”) every single year to every single Primary school in Ireland. This, despite the fact that teachers are not even paid to teach religion.


* Until very recently, the local priest was the “Manager” of the local school, and answered to nobody at all. Many still act as if there has been no change.

* Nowadays, there are eight members of the Board of Management, but in reality the priest is still “the boss” in the vast majority of schools.

* I have met many, many priests in my years of teaching, and most of them have not been competent to “run” schools, but every single one of them has been the boss.

* Usually the priest is the Chairperson of the Board, and is the person with whom the Department of Education corresponds. This is a huge piece of power. Some priests I have known said they have written to the Department e.g. for funds, but they have not. In one case, children were left traipsing in the mud to outdoor toilets for nine unnecessary years, because the priest had refused to ask the Department for funding, but claimed that he had done so.

* The chairperson of the Board (the priest) is also the chairperson of any panel to appoint a principal or teacher. There are three usually on the selection board – the priest, the principal and an outside party taken from a list. That list, however, is compiled by the diocesan office and the priest gets to choose whoever he likes from it! In effect, then, the priest has two out of three votes, because that “outside” person is paid a fee, and will not be chosen again if they don’t play the game.

*Teachers must get a reference from their local PP and enclose it with any application for a teaching job. That reference had better say that the teacher is a regular mass-goer, or they might as well save the stamp. Did you know that?

* The priest makes sure that religion is taught in the schools, but doesn’t teach it himself.

* The priest insists that children are prepared for three sacraments (Reconciliation (confession), Eucharist (communion) and Confirmation) in the primary school – 2nd class and 5th / 6th class – but does not teach himself.

* 2nd class is almost completely taken over by two sacraments. If you’re not a Catholic, you miss out on weeks and weeks and weeks of your education.

* 5th / 6th class is the same, only maybe a bit worse, because the Bishop comes to this sacrament, so the priest wants to impress him – without doing any of the work. Again, non-Catholics are sitting there losing out on their education. Let’s face it; the Catholics are losing out on their education too!

* In other countries, including Catholic countries, religion is taught after school, so there is no loss of education, and people can choose to opt out if they wish. Not so in Ireland. In Ireland, parents have an entitlement to withdraw their children from the religion class, but as already outlined, they’d have to be at home for most of 2nd and 5th / 6th classes! In addition, many parents work, so they can’t be up and down to the school to remove their children during the religion class. Plus there is nowhere for children to go in the school, and no-one free to supervise them if there was, so these children have to sit in the classroom, absorbing the religion that their parents do not want. Worst of all, the Bishop / priests insist that religion is taught at 12 noon every day. If it were scheduled as the last lesson of the day, then the children could be collected early, but no! It is made as difficult as possible.

* Some priests go in to schools and ask the children to put up their hand if they were at mass that Sunday. Did you know that?

* Priests gather their altar servers for daily mass from the primary school, especially rural schools. Did you know that? So those children miss more of their education, not to mention what might happen to them in the church and walking unsupervised to and from the church.

* Priests often go into schools to hear the children’s confessions.  Did you know that? One to one, on their own. Did you know that? Without parental permission.  Did you know that?

This is merely a taste of the role of Bishops and priests in our primary schools.

So, what do you think?

Should Bishops remain as Patrons of our schools?

Should priests remain as Chairpersons of our Boards of Management?

Should priests and Bishops choose our teachers and our principal teachers?

Should teachers be regular mass goers only?

Should teachers be heterosexuals only?


Mental Reservation in Bishop Murray’s Resignation Statement

I thought maybe we might have a closer look at the resignation statement of bishop Donal Murray to see what he really said.   Maybe we could try and tease out some of those unspoken mental reservations these fellows are so fond of.

Here’s what his statement said, with additional  interruptions by me.


I have heard the views of many survivors, especially in the days following the publication of the Murphy Report.

Sorry, Donal, just let me stop you there.  You heard the views of survivors.  What does that mean?  Are you saying you actually spoke to survivors  face to face, or are you saying you heard their views from somebody else?  When you say “many survivors”, how many exactly?   One, ten or a hundred? What sort of survivors?  Were these people personally abused?

Some expressed the wish that I should resign; others asked me not to do so.

Donal, I have to stop you again there.  Who exactly asked you not to resign?

I know full well that my resignation cannot undo the pain that survivors of abuse have suffered in the past and continue to suffer each day.

What pain are you talking about Dónal?  The Murphy report wasn’t about abuse.  It was about how you and the other bishops handled complaints.

I humbly apologise once again to all who were abused as little children.

Donal. The inquiry wasn’t about abuse.  You have no business apologising for that.

To all survivors of abuse I repeat that my primary concern is to assist in every way that I can, on their journey towards finding closure and serenity.

Donal, when are you going to talk about your own negligence?

A bishop is meant to be a person who seeks to lead and inspire all the people of the diocese in living as a community united in the truth and love of Christ.  I asked the Holy Father to allow me to resign and to appoint a new bishop to the Diocese —

Donal, he sacked you.  You hid in Rome while Naughton was being sentenced.

—  because I believe that my presence will create difficulties for —

Donal, you’re resigning because because the Murphy report described your lack of action as “inexcusable”.

— some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers.

Only some of the survivors, Donal?  Are you saying that other survivors are delighted to have a man in place who betrayed their trust?

Let my last words as Bishop of Limerick be those I spoke in St. Joseph’s on 29th November last: ‘We are people who believe that God’s mercy and God’s healing are without limit. We are meant to be bearers of that hope to one another and especially to people whose trust was betrayed when they were just little children —

Their trust was betrayed by you, Donal, and not just by the deviants who abused them.

— and who endured the terror, helplessness and suffering inflicted by a frightening and dominant adult.

Sorry to interrupt you again, Donal, but you keep talking about the abuse.  The Murphy report wasn’t about child abuse.  It was about your handling of complaints.

They should always have a special place in our prayers.

They had no place in your thoughts, never mind your prayers, when they tried to tell you what was happening.  Are you going to say anything about how you handled their complaints?  Are you going to say anything at all about the Murphy report?





Bishop Murray Takes One For The Team

Bishop Dónal Murray resigned this morning without accepting any responsibility for the wrongdoings exposed by  the Murphy report.  In line with a carefully-thought-out tactic, Murray’s speech concentrated on the victims of clerical sexual abuse.

I know full well that my resignation cannot undo the pain that survivors of abuse have suffered in the past and continue to suffer each day.  I humbly apologise once again to all who were abused as little children.  To all survivors of abuse I repeat that my primary concern is to assist in every way that I can, on their journey towards finding closure and serenity.

… I believe that my presence will create difficulties for some of the survivors who must have first place in our thoughts and prayers.

… We are meant to be bearers of that hope to one another and especially to people whose trust was betrayed when they were just little children and who endured the terror, helplessness and suffering inflicted by a frightening and dominant adult. They should always have a special place in our prayers.

Very good, you might be thinking.  At last he’s facing up to reality.

I’m afraid not.

The Murphy report is not about clerical sexual abuse.  It’s about the way the bishops handled complaints of these crimes.  It’s about the fact that they ignored and dismissed victims.  It’s about putting protection of the church ahead of the victims’ welfare.  It’s about concealing crimes.  It’s about a cover-up.

Remember the mandate of the Commission as quoted in their report:

The Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation was established to report on the handling by Church and State authorities of a representative sample of allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse against clerics operating under the aegis of the Archdiocese of Dublin over the period 1975 to 2004.

There’s one major element missing from Donal Murray’s statement: any acknowledgement that he personally bears responsibility for anything at all.

This is the statement of a man who simply doesn’t get it.  He genuinely cannot see that the public pressure is on him because of his inexcusable failures.

Yesterday, Thomas Naughton, a priest of the Dublin diocese, was jailed for abusing children, and we now know that if Murray had acted on complaints against this individual, many children would have escaped the sexual abuse he inflicted on them.

It’s for these failures and this lack of moral compass that Murray has been vilified, and in his statement, we can see a clear strategy, as devised and imposed by the Vatican’s man, Diarmuid Martin.  Keep the spotlight on the victims.  Keep apologising for the abuse.  Keep attention away from the findings of a cover-up in the Murphy report.

Diarmuid Martin is a clever man, and I commend him for it.  A very clever man.

What else would you expect from the brother of the Irish Times Moscow correspondent?  Two smart boys, Diarmuid and Séamus, and two likeable fellows, what’s more.

I find Diarmuid Martin engaging.  I like his humility.  I like his normality.  I doubt very much if Diarmuid Martin would expect the faithful to bend the knee to him or treat him as any sort of prince, much less a prince of the church.   It isn’t his style.

I would share a pint with Diarmuid Martin any time he likes, in the confident expectation of entertaining company and a good night of laughter and storytelling.

Not only that, but I imagine Diarmuid Martin is as horrified and repulsed by the activities of Catholic clergy as I am and as you are.  I imagine he wants, in his private moments, to strangle the life out of the abusers who tortured our children.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is a decent man, a human being with nieces and nephews, and perhaps even children of his own.  Who knows?  It isn’t a crime.  To that extent, I find myself on the same side as him.

He understands my  rage at these perverts and I understand his.

However, there’s another side to Diarmuid Martin   You see, before he was parachuted into the Dublin diocese, Diarmuid Martin was a trusted member of the Vatican inner circle, a diplomat and a canny operator.  It was not by accident that the Vatican decided to place him in Dublin.

Diarmuid Martin was placed in his current position because Rome knew there was a public-relations disaster in the making and Martin was the right man to limit the damage. The Catholic church in Ireland was exposed as little more than a paedophile ring.   Cardinal Desmond Connell and his predecessors had failed  miserably to comprehend that raping a child is a crime, and had colluded in protecting the rapists.  Now there was nothing for it but to put in a man with a safe pair of hands and so they sent in one of their shrewdest operators.

Diarmuid Martin is the Harvey Keitel to the church’s Pulp Fiction.  He’s there to hose down the goons and clean up the crime scene.  He’s there to ensure that the Catholic church in Ireland retains as much of its secular power as possible, and if that means straight talking and kicking a few made men out of a speeding car well and good. What has to be done will be done to protect the Family.

This is why Murray made his begrudging, self-pitying speech of resignation through gritted teeth.  Martin was standing behind him with a knife at his ribs, and you can expect another few goons to quit over coming days.

It isn’t about the victims.  It’s about holding on to power.


Murphy Report Part 1

Murphy Report Part 2


All Bock posts on the Murphy Report


Paedophile Sympathisers in the Catholic Church

THIS IS a guest posting from a professional who works with victims of sexual abuse.


As a worker in a Rape Crisis Centre I have never been under any illusion about the Catholic Church. For many years now I have heard countless stories of clerical sexual abuse. Men and women often told their stories for the very first time to a rape crisis counsellor and sadly, many were actually believed for the very first time in a rape crisis centre.

In some ways the publication of the Murphy report is another day of vindication for survivors, who have been dismissed, ignored, ridiculed and condemned as liars by the very institution which condoned and encouraged their brutalisation.

There is clear, well-researched evidence which shows just how devious, manipulative and cunning sex offenders are capable of being. Abusive clergy had the additional advantage of the backing of the Catholic Church, a church which demonstrated time and time again a willingness, indeed an eagerness, to cover up the most savage crimes.

After World War Two, people who harboured Nazis were hounded and vilified as Nazi sympathisers, and now the Murphy report has exposed another type of sympathiser: the paedophile sympathiser.

Paedophile sympathisers are dressed up as men of God. Men who put Holy Communion into our children’s’ mouths while all the time plotting, fantasising and covering up their abuse.

In the wake of the Murphy report, the arrogance of the Catholic Church continues to shine through in its refusal to force the relevant bishops to resign and in the complete lack of an adequate, prompt response from Rome. And while those holy men contemplate their next move, survivors the length and breadth of Ireland try to get on with their lives.


Murphy Report Part 1

Murphy Report Part 2


All Bock posts on the Murphy Report


IT Development Bishop Guys’, Like, Memo?

Parallel universes.

What if the Catholic hierarchy were in IT?

I asked Kae Verens to put himself there, and this internal memo is what he came up with.


Hi guys,

sorry about those glitches recently reported in the XIAN engine! I’m afraid we’ve only just managed to work the bugs out of the systems and these should /hopefully/ not happen again.

Basically, what was happening is that we would receive some processes from
local systems (the parent systems were not up to the job or didn’t have the
resources, etc), and before these new child processes had been fully initialised, they were being forced to fork. And even if the forking wasn’tsuccessful, their internal states were getting a little screwed up because of the misuse.

Obviously, this meant that when those processes were later used in external systems, there were some problems with their stability.

These glitches had not been fixed before because “the boys upstairs”, although aware of them, were more interested in the system market-share than in quality control.

This has all gone public, though, so we’ve been ordered to take care of it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If you read their emails earlier, you’ll see that they’re blaming us for this snafu… see particularly the line that reads “we, as managers apologise for the behaviour of our admins”, LOL!!

Anyway – we’re distributing a new framework called POPE 2.0 beta (“Push
Our Policies on Everyone” 2.0 – which should be used from now on. This has some fairlystandard algorithms which check for misuse of system resources, which/really/ should have been put in place ages ago. But hey, bottom dollar!

So guys, let’s get this framework in place, and ask our users to forget about the problems with the systems that we’ve had – we promise that there are no bugs in the process now! (rotfl!)

If anyone outside asks about it, just say that those problems were withthe /old/ system which ran under a legacy system, BISHOP  3.7 – a bad policy, maybe, but it was fun while it lasted), and that the new system is much better and they should really upgrade…



Murphy Report Part 1

Murphy Report Part 2


All Bock posts on the Murphy Report


Murphy Report – Bishops’ Statement First Draft

The Catholic bishops issued a formal statement today, but Bock agents have managed to get hold of an earlier draft.  Here it is.


We, as bishops, want to throw up apologise to all those who were befriended abused by priests as children, their families and to all troublemakers people who feel rightly outraged and let down by the criminal conspiracy failure of moral leadership and accountability that emerges from the Report.

We intend to keep the lid on this. As a final an initial response to the Report, we decided to close ranks agreed today to request the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church to start another red herring explore with the relevant Government departments and statutory authorities, North and South, ways of burying this a mechanism by which to ensure that the Church’s current policies and practices in relation to the safeguarding of children represent plausible deniability best practice and that allegations of abuse are properly covered up this time handled.

We knew exactly what was going on.We are completely indifferent deeply shocked by the scale and depravity of abuse as described in the Report, even though we know that the Report wasn’t about abuse, but about our cover-up. We can’t slither out of this one but we hope that by concentrating on the abuse we’ll be able to take the attention off us. We couldn’t give a toss are shamed by the extent to which we covered up child sexual abuse was covered up in the Archdiocese of Dublin but it was all in good fun and recognise that this could cause trouble for us indicates a culture that was widespread in the Church. The avoidance of the police scandal, the preservation of our pensions the reputations of individuals and of the Church, are obviously the most important things, takes took precedence over the safety and welfare of children. We won’t be caught on the hop the next time.This should never have been found out happened and must never be allowed to be discovered happen again. Here  Have some meaningless guff to shut you up. We humbly ask for forgiveness you idiot.

The Report messes up our holidays raises very important issues for our comfortable retirement the Church in Ireland, including the money it will cost us the functioning of the Bishops’ Conference, and, how to stop people walking away the lay faithful can be more effectively bamboozled involved in the life of the Church. We will make up more nonsense when we get time give further detailed consideration to these issues.

In response to the many concerns raised about the lies we tell you all the time the use of ‘Mental Reservation’, we wish to categorically state that we’ll fucking kill Des Connell for letting it slip it has no end of handy uses place in covering up evil. Charity, truthfulness, integrity and transparency are bullshit must be the hallmark of all our communications.

Brady and Martin are going to shaft Murray. Ratzo’s like a dog over it. Cardinal Seán Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin have been called to the Vatican by Ratzo the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to enable him “to tear them a new arsehole be briefed and evaluate the painful situation of the Church in Ireland following its exposure as a paedophile ring the recent publication of the Murphy Commission Report.” He’s in a shocking rage down in his bunker and he’s hitting the bottle hard again.  They will meet with Pope Benedict on Friday if he’s sober.

It makes us puke to say that We humbly ask that you continue to pray for all those who suffer due to being found out as criminals child abuse but as long as they’ll settle for prayers instead of money, it isn’t too bad.

Thank you for believing this bullshit.


Meanwhile, the bishop of Galway, Martin Drennan, told the Irish Times: The report says nothing negative about me in fact, you know. I don’t think I have any questions to answer, in fact, from my own reflections on the time there .

Bishop Éamonn Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, said you and your newspaper have put me under pressure … If I had done any wrong, I’d be gone.


Murphy Report Part 1

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Foreign Agents Cover Up Child Abuse in Ireland

The Commission of Investigation wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican asking for its help.  It needed information about concealment of a multiple crime by agents of the Vatican.  The CDF, formerly known as the Holy Inquisition, headed by Josef Ratzinger until he became Pope, ignored the letter.

The Commission also wrote to the Papal Nuncio, who is the Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland, seeking similar assistance.  He also ignored the request.

Subsequently, the Vatican complained to the Irish government that the Commission had breached protocol by not making the inquiries through diplomatic channels.

This is false.

The Commission is not a government body and has no business using governmental channels to pursue its inquiries.

What we can see clearly is that the Catholic church considers itself to be a foreign State for the purposes of inquiries into crime. It has said so explicitly in regard to the Commission’s requests for information.

We also know that the hierarchy’s first sworn allegiance is to their church.

We can deduce therefore that the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland are agents of a foreign State whose main loyalty is not to Ireland.

Therefore, we can say that many of our schools, hospitals and third level institutions are controlled by a foreign State.

We can also say categorically that these agents of a foreign State participated in the concealment of a widespread and long-lasting crime, not only in Dublin but throughout the country.

If these things had been done by representatives of any other foreign State, and if a judicial inquiry had been rebuffed in such a manner by that State, its diplomats would be expelled forthwith, and the government would immediately sever all diplomatic ties.

So why not the Vatican?



The Irish Times reaches the same conclusion.


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Mental Reservation

I never heard the expression mental reservation until I read the Dublin diocese report,  but I’ve seen it in action many times.  It isn’t something the Catholic church hold a monopoly on, although they seem to have reduced it to a new level of dishonesty.

Mental reservation is a way of telling lies while being able to claim that you’ve been  completely honest. For instance, Cardinal Desmond Connell was comfortable with telling journalists that diocesan funds are not used to pay off the victims of clerical abusers, and he was very pleased with the subtlety of his language.  He took great satisfaction in explaining that he didn’t say such funds were not used in the past, and if the journalists happened to be hoodwinked by his clever use of language, why that was just their own misfortune for not being as slippery smart as Des.  Likewise, the diocese explained to a priest representing Marie Collins that they said they had cooperated with the police investigation, but not that they had cooperated fully.  That was mental reservation, you see, holding back the word fully, and thinking it but not actually saying it.

This kind of linguistic game-playing is common among the likes of  Connell and his fellow bishops who have the luxury of debating abstract moral propositions that carry no personal consequences for them, as they share a glass of port in their seminary or their palace.  The detachment from reality that they grew up with transfers into a detachment from real people’s lives and an indifference to their suffering.

I doubt if this kind of thinking is confined to seminaries.

By the same token, we saw Bill Clinton, a former Rhodes Scholar, insist that he did not have sexual relations with that woman, when most guys in his position would be more than happy to think of what he got up to as just that.

If you’re old enough to remember the Australian Spycatcher affair, you might recall Sir Robert Armstrong producing the magnificent phrase “economical with the truth”. No doubt Sir Robert, now Baron Armstrong, became well-acquainted with abstruse,  detached word-play during his time at Eton and Oxford, where he absorbed the languid, dishonest and ruthless demeanour of his class.

The world loved the patent absurdity of Armstrong’s phrase, and laughed at it, because we all understood what he meant.  Economical with the truth. Every parent knows  who took the sweets, or put  a football through the window.  It was Mister Nobody.

And just as deceitfulness is not unique to princes of the church and Old Etonians, there is not always a formal training in evasion and equivocation.  Sometimes, a Mr Nobody  is born with the native cunning to lie, evade and deceive as we saw with Bertie Ahern and his treatment of the Tribunals.


There are two big differences.

Neither Baron Armstrong nor Bill Cinton nor Bertie Ahern, for all his faults, claim to wield any moral authority, or to lecture the population at large on how their private lives should be conducted.  And likewise, Armstrong, Clinton and Ahern had to give some account of themselves to the civil power, however inadequate that account might have been.

The Catholic clergy,  on the other hand, owe their primary allegiance to a foreign State, the Vatican,  and furthermore claim to be the ultimate authority on what is ethical and what is not.

Therefore, when you examine it in the context of the Vatican’s snub to the Commission, and the Papal Nuncio’s refusal to acknowledge its letters, you would have to conclude that mental reservation as practised by the Catholic clergy is just one more calculated finger of contempt towards the people of this country.

Now let me ask you this.  How long are you prepared to live with someone who holds you in contempt?


Irish Catholic Bishops Need To Be Collared

It doesn’t matter if bishops resign.  It doesn’t matter what  club they stay in or what club they choose to leave.  It doesn’t matter if they look into their rotten consciences.

That’s their own business.

What matters is the real power they still wield in their positions as patrons of schools; the power, for example,  to hire and fire a teacher whose beliefs do not accord with their own.

The State must not consult these men.  It must take all power away from them.

As we have seen from the Murphy report, these people have only one allegiance: to their private club.  Not to the children in their schools, nor the patients in church-owned hospitals.  Not to you.  Not to me.  Not to this so-called republic that has given them so much influence.

It’s time to stop talking to these people.  It’s time they were sidelined, removed from all positions of influence, and arrested where necessary.

It’s time every single one of their institutions was nationalised.  Just like the corrupt bankers, these morally-corrupt, debased, cynical men have no place running any institution of this State.

These clerics care nothing for the people. They care nothing for the children. They care nothing for ethics.

They exist solely to protect the power and the wealth of their organisation and they will never voluntarily reform.

If one bishop resigns he will simply be replaced by another old cynic.

There is a man in this town, Donal Murray, who was found by the Commission to be grievously derelict in his responsibility to the victims of sexual abuse while he worked in the Dublin diocese.  He learned nothing from that experience, and went on to dismiss the pleas of an abuse victim in Limerick, who felt so intimidated by the way Murray’s hired pit-bulls treated him that took his own life in despair.

This man, Donal Murray, controls many primary schools in Limerick and is ultimately responsible for the safety of children in those schools.  It doesn’t matter if he resigns as a bishop.  That’s irrelevant.

Ther only solution is to remove all churchmen from positions of power within this republic and let them go back to being humble priests as they were meant to be.

The State is the appropriate body to control all our schools and all our hospitals, not a bunch of unqualified, cynical, power-mad old men who covered up the most appalling crimes against children and will continue to do so because they are incapable of learning anything.

Forget about appeals to these guys’ consciences.  They have no consciences.

It’s time for the State to act in an adult way, step in and remove these people and their organisations from power.  And it’s time for a policeman’s hand on some of their collars to do the job their consciences are incapable of doing.


Murphy Report Part 1

Murphy Report Part 2


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Bishop Donal Murray and the Death of Peter McCloskey

Bishop Donal Murray, former auxiliary bishop of Dublin and now bishop of Limerick since 1996, came in for severe criticism in the Murphy report for  inexcusably failing to investigate  complaints from sex-abuse victims.

Yesterday, Murray made a statement in which he rejected this finding by the Commission and refused to resign.  But 0f course, indifference to the suffering of a victim is nothing unusual for Donal Murray.

In 1980 and 1981, a priest called Denis Daly, who had formerly worked in Australia, raped Peter McCloskey on multiple occasions. Peter was an 11-year-old child when he was raped.  More than 20 years later, in 2002, Peter McCloskey approached Murray about his experiences at the hands of his rapist, but was met with hostility and aggression.  Instead of listening to a victim’s suffering, Murray hired a highly aggressive lawyer, a specialist in protecting the church against such claims, and issued terrifying legal threats against Peter.

In 2004, McCloskey went to Australia to examine the file held on his abuser by the priest’s former diocese. The file contained documents covering 30 years of sexual abuse by Daly, and included correspondence between the Australian church authorities and those in Ireland.

When he came home, Peter McCloskey again aproached Murray but encountered further evasion, denial and hostility from the clergy even though these men knew perfectly well that Daly was a sexual abuser. The legal threats were repeated: if Peter went public with his accusations, the church would crucify him in a court of law.

Peter became depressed by Murray’s dismissal and rejection of his experiences.  In March 2006 he attended what was euphemistically described as a  mediation conference with the Limerick diocese, but which turned out to be a full-scale mental and legal assault on him.

This was the sensitivity Donal Murray showed to a rape victim.  This was Donal Murray’s way of investigating a complaint against a priest of his diocese.

Two days later,  Peter McCloskey took his own life.

Donal Murray is still in his bishop’s palace.



Statement from Mary McCloskey



A recent comment had to be removed because it contained defamatory statements.

On further reflection, it has been decided to close the comments on this post, which is a most unusual thing for Bock, and therefore some kind of explanation is needed.

Without going into details, it seems that there is a dimension to this story outside the scope of the original post.

After discussion, a decision has been made that allowing further comments on this post would not be in the best interests of the McCloskey family.



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