A press article by Carmel Hayes.
(Related to the Philip Cairns case.)
BE NAMED ON THE NET
by Carmel Hayes
The names of alleged child abusers, including a Bishop and a high-ranking Garda, may be published on the Internet.
A group of adult survivors of child sex abuse in the southeast is considering opening a web site to publicly name abusers, according to a local politician and barrister.
Cllr. Gary O’Halloran 1 told a South Eastern Health Board meeting in Kilkenny on Thursday that the web site would also include the names and conduct of a Minister and a number of high-profile “personalities”, as well as the names of survivors.
1 Cllr.: Councillor or councilor, for short. (Nozick)
And he said the shock plan was due to survivor’s frustration at the way they were treated by the Health Board.
In the latest in a series of controversial statements on child sex abuse, Cllr. O’Halloran declared. “I am making a final bid for communication to commence between the survivors and the health authorities.”
“They (the survivors) cannot understand that if a five o six-year-old child is knocked down the world will stop and all the services come in and they are not left alone until the healing process is over, but that process does not come into play in the case of abuse.”
The organization known as “Survivors” was set up in Waterford last year and has members throughout the southeast, including Kilkenny.
Pointing out that 1.558 reported cases of alleged child abuse were being investigated by the Health Board at the end of 1996, Cllr. O’Halloran recalled that he had sought details of the age, sex and occupation of offenders but this had not been provided by the Board.
He added that individual survivors had sought information from the Health Board but had not received it. One survivor was very concerned about the way she was treated by the Board.
And he also claimed that a young person who had “known paedophile tendencies” had been fostered out without any information being given to the foster parents.
“There is a major problem with communication in these type of matters”, he said.
The outgoing Chairman of Waterford Country Council told the board that, at their most recent meetings, members of “Survivors” had been debating how to deal with the authorities’ failure to communicate. They were now considering taking a page on the Internet, listing the names of survivors and abusers.
“The survivors are fighting back and I am making one final appeal to this Board to start communicating”, he declared.
The Fine Gael Councillor’s statement was criticised by Kilkenny’s Cllr. Martin Fitzpatrick, who felt tha the issue should be dealt with privately.
And Health Board Chairman and party colleague Cllr. Michael Deering refused to allow a discussion of the issue. Pointing out that members had just received the Board’s annual reviiew of child care and family support services, he said that issues raised in the report, including those highlighted by Cllr. O’Halloran, could be discussed at the next meeting.
But commenting that he wouldn’t be “fobbed off”, the controversial Waterford politician promised to reveal the location of the web site at the July Health Board meeting.
He didn’t. In fact, Gary O’Halloran resigned from the party (Fine Gael) because he was fed up at the inaction in investigating the alleged “paedophile ring” in the Kilkenny/Carlow area. (Nozick)