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THE REASON WHY (with Apologies to Tennyson)

The following extracts from correspondence etc over the years give some indication of what motivated me to begin this Crusade of mine.

(A) Letter to Lady who asked me about my Motives

22 April 2003

Dear Ms ......

Thank you very much. The questions are a little difficult to answer by E mail. I have been pursuing this kind of issue for some years now and what seems obvious to me, may be difficult for a "newcomer" to grasp because I may be unconsciously assuming that other people know things with which I am very familiar. For example did you even hear of Nora Wall before and if not have I supplied sufficient background data?(The key factor is that she is a former nun - if  people don't realise that, then I must appear to be speaking in riddles).

My Background and Reasons for Action
I was a member of the De La Salle Brothers from about September 1966  to about March 1969: I was aged 16 to 19 and spent most of my time in training though I taught for several months in 3 schools (mainly filling in for absent teachers). The training period in the Novitiate in Castletown  was the formative experience of my life and the Novice master,  the late Br. Maurice Kirk influenced me as much as my parents, if not more so. I doubt if he regarded me as one of his most promising students and I think he would be very surprised by my metamorphosis (He became Provincial of the Brothers and was killed in a car crash about 1974).

I would say that this is by far the most important factor in my present Crusade - if you want to call it that. I was always annoyed at the tone of sneering abuse which our "liberal" intellectuals adopt when referring to the Catholic Church. Over the past several years their blood libels and false allegations of child abuse have driven me to distraction (I am perfectly well aware that there are true allegations of abuse as well - but by the same token, not everything Julius Streicher ** wrote about the Jews is false.)

The second reason for my actions is that around Christmas 1994 (? I think) I came across a boy whom I thought might be the victim of child abuse (by his step-father). I helped him to some extent but then became afraid that I would be the target of a bogus allegation myself. So I dropped him though he was lonely and expected to see me again. In normal circumstances I would have had no problem in approaching the Social Services and asking for a discreet investigation. However hysteria was already in the air and I thought I could not possibly make an accusation on the very limited evidence I had. (Remember what Dr. Moira Woods did to Eddie Hernon?). Also because of the hysteria, I felt I could not investigate further. It was a vicious circle. I spoke to a number of friends about this at the time and everyone told me not to get involved.

Finally for 6 months or so in 1995 I was involved in an extremely ugly confrontation at work with a female member of staff who ended up by accusing me of sexual harassment. I fought this issue all the way to the top and became a delegate to the Annual Delegate Conference of the Public Service Executive Union (April 1996?) for the specific purpose of moving a Motion on bogus allegations of sexual harassment (i.e. no-one else wanted that job). The full time officials of the Union opposed my Motion but I got it passed anyway. In my speech to the ADC I insisted on referring to a bogus allegation of child abuse made against an Irish Bishop. This probably hindered my case rather than helped it but I was making certain connections (for example where did that lady get her ideas from?).

Oddly enough I believe that this last issue is the least important and I believe I would have pursued my current campaign even if it never happened. (I had a half reconciliation with the lady afterwards but do not anticipate any with the likes of Patsy McGarry and Co).

This is getting too long and I will answer your other queries seperately.


Rory Connor

** Nazi editor of Der Sturmer who accused the Jews of being sexual perverts who murdered Christian boys. (He also said that there were Jews in the Mafia and among Stalin's hencemen - that part is true).

(B) extract from a discussion on the website

Dear SR

You are absolutely right: The Black Internationale has got Tim! I was a De La Salle Brother from 1966 to 69 and it was the formative experience of my life. My novice master Brother Maurice Kirk was as important as my parents if not more so. (He became head of the De La Salle Order in Ireland and was killed in a car crash on 10 April 1974.)

In September 1967 at the end of our training a Jesuit priest Father Michael Sweetman gave us a 9 day Retreat (spiritual conference for you pagans). It's true what the Jesuits say: when they control a child's education they have him for life!

Comment by: Rory Connor at February 23, 2005 05:25 PM

(C) FATHER MICHEAL SWEETMAN SJ: Extract from Letter to Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) date16 Feb 2004

For the record, I will say a last word about my own motivation. I already mentioned Brother Maurice Kirk who was my Novice Master in the De La Salle Brothers from about September 1966 to November 1967 (I entered outside the normal stream of candidates so the dates are unusual). I also recall with great affection the late Father Michael Sweetman S.J. who gave us an 8 day retreat in early September 1967. He told us a lot about his corresponence with an Irish criminal in England who knew he was destroying himself but could see no way out. However the message Fr. Sweetman was giving us was one of optimism and hope. Even if that man died a criminal he would still not be a failure as a human being. I went to see Fr. Sweetman in Ballymun not long before his death. He spoke of young drug addicts there and said that they were doomed. I had not heard a priest talk in that way before and I was upset by his despair. 

I am not capable of inspiring people or helping them in the way that Brother Maurice and Father Sweetman did, or tried to do. However I am very strong minded (largely thanks to them) and I will defend their legacy in my own way.

(D) Brother Maurice Kirk FSC and Father Michael Sweetman S.J.

[Explanatory Note: I was a novice in the De La Salle Brothers in Castletown, Co. Laois, Ireland in the year 1966/1967. It was the peak experience of my life and the main reason why I have been engaged in the fight against false allegations of child abuse directed against Catholic clergy .

My novice master was Brother Maurice Kirk. In August/September 1967 a Jesuit priest Father Michael Sweetman gave us our final Retreat" (spiritual conference) before we were professed as De La Salle Brothers.

I left the Brothers in March 1969. Recently I deposited some material in archives and the following is part of a covering note.

Rory Connor]

As to the wider significance of these events, I was in the [De La Salle] Novitiate in 1966-67 at the time when vocations to the Catholic Church were at their height. This was immediately after Vatican 11 and just before the student revolts of 1968. Brother Maurice was, I suppose, a modernising conservative. Among the main texts we studied were A Map of Life which was a classic from the 1930s and also the Grail Simplified Documents of Vatican 11. I'm sure that Brother Maurice was trying to forge a link between tradition and the modern world. Father Michael Sweetman was something of a "radical priest" so inviting him to preach the Retreat before our profession would have been a daring act.

Obviously Brother Maurice did not succeed. I briefly met with a former fellow novice years later - Brother ..... I think who left like most of us. He told me he thought that Brother Maurice had been an "intellectual bully". Maybe that is true and maybe most leaders have to be. Maybe the increasing secularisation (and increasing viciousness) of society could not be overcome by any means. I think that Father Sweetman felt that at the end of his life - although I did not know him at all as well.

Another historical point. I recently read a review of a book about Pope Pius X11 and the Nazis which was written by a Jewish Rabbi. The Rabbi said that the lies about Pius as "Hitler's Pope" came from 3 separate sources [1]

Stalinist propaganda during the Cold War (1940s and 50s)
The "New Left" in the 1960s
"Liberal" Catholics after the Vatican Council who saw Pius X11 as the hero of "reactionary" Catholics and demonised him as a way of demonising them.

I think that our child abuse hysteria originated in somewhat the same way. Pat Rabbitte and Judge Pat McCartan are former members of the Workers Party that was Stalinist in the most literal sense - party officials went on cosy visits to Kim Il Sung's North Korea. Doctor Moira Woods (who slandered Eddie Hernon) was also a member of this Party. I think that Mary Raftery was a member (though I can't swear to it). Doctor Noel Browne was not in the Workers Party but his hatred of the Catholic Church really took off in the late 1960s. John Horgan mentions in his biography of Browne that a savage article by Browne in the Irish Times in 1970 drew criticism from Father Michael Sweetman [2]! The late 1960s really do seem to be a critical time.

Regarding "liberal" Catholics I know that the National Catholic Reporter in the USA has thrown its full weight behind the child abuse witch-hunt. It even sees nothing wrong with convictions on the basis of "Recovered Memory Syndrome". This is voodoo brain science and is almost unknown in Ireland. The NCR sees the scandal as a useful way of gutting the traditional church and advancing its own "liberal" agenda. - in relation to women priests, gay priests, the laity etc. I don't know if there is an equivalent group in Ireland - I am concentrating my fire on journalists.

Maybe I am exaggerating the importance of my time in the De La Salle Novitiate. But then again maybe not!

Rory Connor
September 2006

[1] The book is "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" by Rabbi David G. Dalin

[2] The date should be 1968 not 1970 which tends to prove my point! In "Noel Browne, Passionate Outsider" John Horgan writes:

" In 1968 [Browne] had written a speech for a meeting in Trinity College which contained a number of harsh criticisms of the Church, but had thought better of it and deleted them from the remarks he eventually delivered. The original speech, however, was published in the Irish Times, and for this he was mildly chastised by another speaker at the meeting, the radical Jesuit Fr Michael Sweetman". [The Irish Times, 6 December 1968].

This seems to be the last time that Noel Browne entertained any doubts about the Catholic Church. After that, it was shrieking denunciation all the way, with the Church being blamed for every evil in Irish society. I think that 1968 was the year our Irish "liberals" started to go crazy!