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False Allegations of Child Abuse against Catholic Church

This website is about false allegations of child abuse - mainly those directed at the Catholic Church in Ireland. I do not dispute that there are real cases of abuse of children by clerics but my contention is that these have been used as an excuse to launch a witch-hunt. This witch-hunt has now spread to every part of our society so that every teacher, doctor, nurse, social worker etc has to take specific precautions to guard against becoming the target of a false accusation. In practise an accused person is treated as guilty until proven innocent so the allegation has a devastating effect on his career and personal life. People are routinely assaulted or their homes attacked as soon as they are accused. Relations between adults and children have broken down as no unrelated adult can afford to be seen alone with a child. (Thus a child who is being abused at home cannot speak privately to his teacher about his problems!). Although we are all now affected by this hysteria, it started in the early 1990s as an attack on the Catholic Church.

The five subject headings above give a general idea of how this website is organised. There is a fuller description of each heading below, but first some individual highlights:


Letter to Sunday Tribune re Child-Killing Allegations is a summary of several allegations that the Christian Brothers were responsible for killing children in their care. (We are not talking about negligence here.) The allegations were made in a 4 to 5 year period beginning in 1999 (i.e. just after the broadcast of Mary Raftery's "States of Fear" series by the national broadcast company RTE in April/May of that year). Prior to the broadcast of "States of Fear", there was just one allegation of that type and it was directed at the Sisters of Mercy. I have discussed this in the essay Sister Xavieria and "Child Killing" in Goldenbridge. (This allegation followed RTE's broadcast of Louis Lentin's documentary "Dear Daughter" in February 1996 which made serious allegations against the Sisters of Mercy in Goldenbridge residential school.)

Mary Raftery and the Death of Patsy Flanagan relates to a long controversy in several newspapers in 1999/2000 regarding the death of a boy in Artane Industrial School in 1951 - allegedly at the hands of the Christian Brothers. It is one of the few times in which the atrocity stories purveyed by Ms. Raftery were subjected to critical scrutiny by the media. The subject is treated from a slightly different angle in The Death of Patsy Flanagan: Blood Libel and the Christian Brothers

My correspondence with Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy in April 2005 regarding Mary Raftery. My reply to Ms. Kennedy concludes as follows:
Mary McCarthy once said about the Stalinist Lillian Hellman : "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." That neatly sums up my attitude to Mary Raftery.

8 Falsely Accused Bishops - the Innocent Who Merit an Explanation relates to false allegations of child abuse and other sexual allegations made against several Irish Bishops.

The Passion of Nora Wall is a long essay on the conviction in June 1999, of a former Sister of Mercy for allegedly raping a young girl. Both her accuser and the "witness" had made allegations against several other people but the Defence only became aware of this when the two sold their story to the Irish Star and one of their previous victims recognised one of them. The case against Nora Wall and her co-defendant Pablo McCabe then quickly collapsed. They were convicted one month after the broadcast of Mary Raftery's "States of Fear" series. (There were originally two rape allegations; one rape was supposed to have occured on the girl's 12th birthday. However it was clear that Pablo McCabe was 100 miles away on that date!)

While this site is mainly about false allegations against the Catholic Church, many lay people have also fallen victim to the hysteria. These include school teacher Patsy McGlinchey and builders labourer Eddie Hernon. Eddie's case is unusual in that he was originally accused some years BEFORE the main assault on the Catholic Church. However his accuser Dr Moira Woods was a well-known feminist and anti-cleric and her long-time partner, the late Cathal Goulding, was a leading intellectual in the anti-clerical Workers Party.

The following gives a more detailed description of the material contained under the Five Subject Headings:

First there is some material about myself - or more specifically about my motives which date back to the late 1960s when I was a novice in the De La Salle Brothers. The two individuals who inspired me and - in a way - dominated my life since were my novice master Brother Maurice Kirk and a Jesuit priest who gave the novices our final Retreat in 1967 - Father Michael Sweetman. They were very much contrasting characters and I think they tried to create a new synthesis in the Catholic Church in the years following Vatican 11. (You could call it a Conservative/Radical synthesis but that is simplistic.) The "conservative" Brother Maurice was killed in a car crash in 1974 and the the "radical" Father Sweetman died in 1996. Their project did not succeed (well maybe it did with me!) and Brother Maurice has no successors in the present decadent state of the Church. Father Sweetman may have some modern day counterparts but they battle on alone.

Second there is a large section under the heading "Individuals" - itself divided into four parts:

Accused - generally those falsely accused of child abuse

Accusers - those who made the allegations

Politicians, Bishops etc - generally those who supported/facilitated false allegations of child abuse. (And yes this includes Bishops who make no effort to protect priests and lay people against such allegations and who offer no criticism of false accusers.)

Writers and Journalists - mainly those who supported false accusers but also including critics of the witch-hunt.





Third there is a large section on "Irish Controversies" comprising;

Allegations against Bishops from 1994 to date Fethard-On-Sea Boycot 1957
Allegations against Lay People Residential Institutions Redress Board 2002-09
Allegations of Child Killing 1996 to date Ryan Report 2009
Child Abuse Commission 1999 to 2009 States of Fear TV programmes 1999
Child Care Today Symphysiotomy Hysteria
Crime in Ireland - Increase from 1960s to Today The Magdalene Sisters
Dalkey House of Horrors The Passion of Nora Wall 1999
Dear Daughter - 1996 Vaccine Trials
Fall of Reynolds Government 1994 Victims Groups Funding
Ferns Report 2005  

The fourth section "International Controversies" contains relevant material on several different countries - mainly the UK and the USA. I intend to add considerably to it.

Finally there is a section on "Religious Congregations" comprising:

Christian Brothers - they, together with the Sisters of Mercy, are the main targets of false allegations

De La Salle Brothers - my former Congregation. This includes a letter of mine published in the Irish Examiner on 28 May 2008.

Sisters of Mercy - a major target for false accusations. Their policy of apologising to false accusers has had disasterous consequences - and not only for themselves. They appear to believe that a false accuser is a "deeply hurt" person and that an apology will lead to "healing and reconciliation". The outcome of this policy is that no distinction is made between vicious fraudsters and people who may have a genuine grievance. Not surprisingly, their apologies have been met with loathing and ridicule but other religious orders have followed suit.

Sisters of Charity

Opus Dei and

Other Congregations.



The opinions on this website are my own. I have tried to be as accurate as possible and to provide the evidence on which my opinions are based. If anyone feels that am mistaken on any point, or misrepresenting their actions or opinions, please send me details by email by clicking here or by choosing 'contact me' at the top of the page. I will remove or correct the offending article and/or publish a statement from the person objecting.