Monday, August 01, 2011

Report proves little was learned from mistakes

BERNARD from Swords was just six years old when he began to suffer appalling abuse at the hands of paedophile priest, Fr James McNamee.

The abuse was to continue for a horrifying four years and would leave emotional scars that lay just beneath the surface to this day, more than 30 years later. 

The Cloyne Report has been depressing for Bernard and for other victims of abuse as it details just how little the Church has learned from its past mistakes. 

When the Murphy Report, which detailed the offences of Fr McNamee, was published in late 2009, Bernard hoped for some sense of closure but it is clear from Cloyne that there are more victims out there and Bernard fears the kind of abuses that he endured could just as easily befall another child today. 

When the Swords man recalled the dark days he experienced at the hands of Fr McNamee, he told the Fingal Independent: ' I remember swimming around in the nude and being touched by him, washed by him and dried by him. He was very physical with us. ' He would make sure he would dry us off and the drying wasn't normal – it was more intense.' Of the bishops and archbishops who failed to address McNamee's and other's abuses, he said: ' Any bishop or archbishop who knew about priests who were abusing and just moved them onto serial abuse somewhere else, should resign.

' I know people have asked them to look into their own conscience, but do they have a conscience?'

He said that the deference to the Church and its authorities must be at an end now and warned: ' Going forward, all institutions dealing with children have to know that if they are aware of a scandal they cannot do nothing about it.'

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