A few weeks ago, we became aware via contact from the colleague of a priest in the Mid-West area that a group down there by the name(s) of MyLGBT (on Facebook) and Rainbow Support Services are actually discriminatory towards clergy!!!
From the information passed to us, it seems that last summer, a message was sent around by this 'organisation' seeking volunteers to take part in a 'peer education' programme and amongst the very few who responded was a priest.
He had his meeting with the youth officer by the name of Ms Dee Dooley neé Nugent and all seemed to be going well until another email was then sent by aforementioned Ms Dooley to the priest a few weeks later stating that they had done a background check and as a result, she claimed that the priest had been lying about their identity, and we quote...."we believe that if it were to come out that we had a person on our voluntary panel that is lying about their identity that it would be detrimental to the work we do to help our clients." (end quote)
She then further went on to say, "and Vanessa Buswell our coordinator and myself would be more than happy to discuss the matter with you further. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment to call into to the office to see us both."(end quote)
The priest did indeed attempt on numerous occasions to make contact with them, but to no avail despite the invitation to so do.
He even went so far as to exercise his rights under the Data Protection Act to see from what source such malignant information in relation to him was sourced, and even supplied a letter written to him by his Bishop and other documents to attest to his sacerdotal ordination etc.
Rainbow Support Services failed to even acknowledge receipt of the letter (which was registered and a record of its delivery we have to hand) and eventually when the priest managed make contact with Ms Dooley she advised him she was "under directions from her boss not to communicate with you or even have a conversation with you about any of this." (end quote - taken from the recorded telephone call transcript).
And so it remains: this 'organisation' gets money from the HSE to provide a service, seeks volunteers, does background checks, makes assumptions based on false information, then when the real evidence is produced they realise they have ballsed up and then decide to shut down and go into denial in the hope the whole thing will go away.
We attempted to get in touch with the priest concerned but understand he is currently unavailable for personal reasons for at least next 2 months, and were then given his solicitors contact details.
His solicitor advised us that due to the breaking of the law in relation to failure to respond to Data Protection request and the matter being one of defamation, he has been instructed to instigate legal action against Rainbow Support Services, and could comment no further on the matter.
It seems Rainbow Support Services may well be needing to use more of its very straitened finances to fight this particular self inflicted cockup - and its services are also questionable to the extent that it doesn't have a website (under construction since 2007) and depends on other sites to 'advise the community of its services' - when they work.
This same organisation has had more addresses than the Irish post office has post office boxes alone, and only operates Monday to Thursday - when its telephone numbers work and the same said telephones are answered (which aint often in both cases).
They accused someone of having something to hide but yet they are hiding themselves by failing to respond to Data Protection requests, ignoring emails and telephone calls and then stating quite baldly they are under orders not to speak about the matter.
That will last only so long, and we will keep you all informed of its progress as we suspect this may yet get a little more interesting as time goes on!!
The irony of all this is that the Church is often seen as been neglectful and ignorant of the LGBT community the world over, and yet when they step forward to help this is the crap they get....many may say tis Karma...we call it a bad judgement call!!