The Archbishop and John Cooney
Diarmuid Martin was consecrated Archbishop of Dublin in April 2004 - about 18 months before John Cooney was appointed Religious Affairs correspondent for the Irish Independent. Martin made no objection to Cooney's appointment and never made any comment on his allegation that Martin's great predecessor John Charles McQuaid was a homosexual paedophile. In fact the two seem to have a very friendly relationship - based on the Archbishop's efforts to tackle the issue of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. The Archbishop's method seems to be to accept ANY allegation at face value and treat a priest as guilty until proven innocent.
The Archbishop has also made friends with liberal journalists by declining to criticise homosexual acts or the Government's proposal to give "gay" civil unions a status very close to marriage.
The Archbishop and Kathy O'Beirne
Shortly after he became Archbishop, Diarmuid Martin held a two- hour meeting with Kathy O'Beirne who told of rapes, beatings and torture she said she had witnessed some 30 years before in a Magdalene Laundry. After the meeting she told the Irish Independent that she and the other girls in care were subject to regular abuse at the hands of religious members and lay people in the laundries. She herself was regularly beaten. One night, she said she watched in horror as a 14-year-old friend was repeatedly raped by five men. However she was now confident that, with the help of Archbishop Martin, the truth will be told. "When I saw him on Wednesday, a feeling of great relief came over me. I could see the compassion and pain on his face," she said.
Kathy O'Beirne was never in any Magdalene institution. The Archbishop's "compassion" for a false accuser is the obverse of his complete lack of concern for his falsely accused priests.
In June 2007, Paul Anderson was convicted of falsely accusing a priest of raping him while giving him prayer tuition 25 years previously. In a statement to the court the priest said that as a result of Anderson and the One-in-Four group going to the Archbishop of Dublin, he was instantly suspended from ministry. "Without any due process, my diocese - in this Guantanamo Bay reaction - had me stand aside from my work as a priest. I had to leave my house and home and stay with family and friends, and I lost almost a year out of my pastoral work." He described the allegations against him as being like a case of armed robbery, with the accuser using his name and reputation in order to extract money from the Church.
The Archbishop and False Allegations by Religious Affairs Correspondents
On 8 November 2008 John Cooney wrote in the Irish Independent:
" Archbishop Martin's ongoing discovery of new complaints -- which are now far higher than first found by Cardinal Connell before his retirement -- clearly indicate the huge volume of files being investigated by the Commission which recently received Oireachtas approval to extend its work until next year. Fifteen more priests and members of Religious Orders against whom allegations were made, or suspicions raised, of child sex abuse since 1940 have been found by the archbishop since his previous count in May 2007, bringing the total up from 147 to 152. .......
Archbishop Martin explained that the figures constitute a record of allegations made and suspicions raised since 1940 irrespective of the eventual outcome.
"They include allegations which have been substantiated, and those which have not, and allegations which are demonstrably false or mistaken," he said. To date, eight priests have been convicted in the criminal courts, and three others who have been the subject of allegations of child sexual abuse are currently before the courts."
Subsequently Cooney himself, Patsy McGarry (Irish Times) and other journalists used this statement to claim that hundreds of children had been abused by "at least" 152 priests of the Dublin Archdiocese. They ignored the Archbishop's clear indication that these were "allegations" and that some were demonstrably false. On the other hand the Archbishop made no attempt to repudiate their falsification of his own comments. Martin's desire for popularity with the liberal media seems to trump every other consideration - including the defence of his own priests against false allegations of child abuse.
The Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishops of Dublin
The most egregious example is the Archbishop's treatment of retired auxiliary Bishop Dermot O'Mahony. The Archbishop removed Bishop O'Mahony from his position as director of the archdiocese's pilgrimage to Lourdes on the basis that “I regret that you did not express any public clarification or remorse or apology” (letter dated 2 December 2009). However Bishop O’Mahony had sent a statement to the Archbishop’s Director of Communications Annette O’Donnell on 27 October 2009 which concluded : “I profoundly regret that any action or inaction of mine should have contributed to the suffering of even a single child. I want to apologise for my failures from the bottom of my heart”. The statement was not published by the Communications Office but Annette O'Donnell confirmed that the Archbishop had seen it. He made no apology to Dermot O'Mahony and indeed continued to criticise him.
In November 2009 the Archbishop invited the Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan who had previously been an auxiliary Bishop of Dublin to "consider his position" after the publication of the Murphy Report. While the Report mentions Bishop Drennan, it makes no criticism whatsoever of his conduct! In order to consolidate his status as a media hero, does the Archbishop want to hand the media as many heads as possible on a platter?
The Archbishop and the "Paedophile Ring"
At around this time the Archbishop also asked the gardai to investigate whether a clerical paedophile ring was operating in the archdiocese. His request was greeted with glee by the media - a fact that he must have anticipated. (Nearly a year later the gardai do not appear to have uncovered any evidence of such a ring.)
The Archbishop and Mob Hysteria
In June/July 2010 in Co. Wicklow, a family comprising parents and four children were driven out of their homes on four occassions by mobs. On the last occassion the mob burned down their home in Ashford. The reason for the hyteria was that 18 years previously (in 1992) the husband had been convicted of a sex offence against a minor and got a suspended sentence of six months. There was a discussion on the Politics.ie website entitled "Labour Councillors Join Mob Harrassment of Innocent Family" and I wrote (among other things}:
The family have been hounded out of Kilcoole, Redcross, Rathnew and Ashford. I think they are all in the Archdiocese of Dublin which covers most of Co. Wicklow as well. Ashford certainlly is and that is where their house was burned down.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has become a great hero of the liberal media because of the way he has dealt with allegations of child sexual abuse. He cannot make a speech without denouncing the evils of abuse and apologising for the way the Church dealt with them in the past. He even put pressure on Bishop Martin Drennan to resign even though NO criticism had been made of him in the Murphy Report. (Like the Wicklow mob, the Archbishop seems to believe in guilt by association.) ......
Would it be too much to ask the Archbishop to condemn the behaviour of the people who hound an innocent mother and her four children? The mob are abusing these innocents. Moreover the hysteria and fanaticism generated by the mob will rebound on real victims of child sexual abuse in the future. Cynicism is what normally follows after Hysteria.
The Archbishop and "Strong Forces" who would Prefer to cover-up Child Abuse
On 10 May 2010 the Archbishop gave a speech to the Knights of Columbanus in which he spoke about the way "Church academics and church publicists can today calmly act as pundits on the roots of the sexual abuse scandals in the church as if they were totally extraneous to the scandal". He gave no indication of whom he meant. There was a mysterious passage that made media headlines about "strong forces which would prefer that the truth (about child abuse) did not emerge." What "forces"? Archbishop Martin did not provide the answer. Pundits speculated that he meant "forces" like Cardinal Sean Brady, and even the Pope himself. It is more likely that he meant his own critics like Bishop O' Mahony and Bishop Drennan. Perhaps this is the Archbishop's way of getting back at them while generating publicity for himself? Even some of his media supporters described the speech as meaningless and child abuse watchdog Ian Elliot indicated that he did not know what Martin was talking about because "the Archbishop's knowledge exceeds mine"!
However an article by John Cooney in the Irish Independent on 20 June 2009 may point to the shape of things to come. Cooney quotes Martin as acknowledging that, when he was a young seminarian in the 1960s, he knew about physical abuse in Artane and asks "Why was good guy Martin silent so long". Perhaps John Cooney who slandered Martin's great predecessor John Charles McQuaid, will decide that the current Archbishop has served his purpose as a media stooge?
The Archbishop and "Victims" of Child Abuse
In the meantime on Easter Sunday 4 April 2010, the Archbishop was confronted and heckled by former residents of institutions run by religious when he arrived to say Mass at the Pro-Cathedral. About a dozen protested outside the cathedral after having draped its railings in pairs of infants’ shoes, with black ribbons attached. John Ayers, who “was beaten every day to make me a Catholic”, told the Archbishop: “Your church is not welcome in my country any more. It is a Nazi religion. I want it to leave my country, I want you to leave my country.” In May Mr Ayres went on to hold a hunger strike outside the Archbishops house in Drumcondra and lined the road outside with children's shoes to symbolise the victims of institutional abuse.
It seems possible that the Archbishop will be devoured by the demons he released with his combination of indiscriminate apologies AND his failure to defend the innocent.
Archbishop Washes Feet of Christine Buckley
On Sunday 20 February 2011 Archbishop Martin and the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston Sean O'Malley, washed the feet of 8 alleged victims of child abuse in the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin. Among them was professional "victim" Christine Buckley who was the main subject of Louis Lentin's "Dear Daughter" programme, broadcast by RTE in February 1996.
Uk cultural historian Richard Webster has written the following about this "documentary":
“The Irish story then developed in a manner which paralleled the development of the North Wales story. In 1996 the producer and director, Louis Lentin, made a television documentary about abuse in children’s homes which was shown by RTE, the main public service broadcasting station in Ireland. It focused on the brutal regime which was said to have been operating during the 1950s at St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, one of a network children’s homes or detention centres which were funded by the state and run by the Catholic Church.
“The documentary featured allegations made against Sister Xavieria, one of the nuns belonging to the Sisters of Mercy order which ran the home. The woman ‘survivor’ at the centre of the film claimed that, on one occasion, she had been caned by Sister Xavieria so severely that the entire side of her leg was split open from her hip to her knee. She says she was treated in the casualty department of the local hospital and believes that she received 80 to 120 stitches.
“No medical evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this bizarre claim. The surgeon who ran the casualty department at the hospital in question has given evidence which renders it highly unlikely that such an incident ever took place. Apart from anything else, the surgeon points out that caning would not have caused a wound of this kind, which would have required surgical treatment under a general anaesthetic and not stitches in a casualty department. Yet although the evidence suggests that the woman’s memory was a delusion, her testimony was widely believed at the time. In the wake of the broadcast, atrocity stories about Goldenbridge and other industrial schools began to proliferate.”
BACKGROUND - The Kind of Church that Produced an Archbishop like Diarmuid Martin
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bishop Eamonn Walsh – Letter to Dublin Priests of 3 Deaneries - 17 December 2009