I have been writing about allegations of child abuse for a decade now and I herby predict that both of the above "scandals" are fake. I have lots of grounds for saying this (more later) but I will mention one.
Every similar case I can recall, involved residential schools for poor or delinquent boys accusing Clerics or Teachers. It was the Lower Class vs the Upper Class. Australia is the only country I know of where students of upper class schools accused their teachers - 30 years after the alleged events.
This is a new form of hysteria - following after Satanic Ritual Abuse (1980s), Recovered Memory (1990s+) and more recently allegations of child murder and "genocide" at residential institutions in Ireland, Jersey (UK) and Canada.
As to my qualifications:
When the "scandal" alleging child killing on the UK island of Jersey broke on 24 February 2008, I denounced it as a fraud in a Timesonline comment two days later. I have waited a bit longer re St Stans and Knox Grammar but it is true all the same!
I can't access the 26 February 2008 comment just now but it is incorporated into the following
It was obvious from the beginning that these allegations were based on hysteria. In a comment on a TimesOnLine article dated 26 FEBRUARY ("Beast of Jersey Paedophile...") I wrote the following:
In ireland between 1999 and 2004 we had a large number of allegations that children had been killed in industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers. These included accusations in a major Sunday Newspaper of mass killing ("a Holocaust") at Letterfrack in Co. Galway. Not a single claim has proved to be correct. This is not surprising as several relate to periods when no child died of ANY cause. (I call these "Murder of the Undead" allegations). **
One body was exhumed and proved to be a death from natural causes but the resulting publicity resulted in dozens of child abuse claims within a couple of weeks against the institution.
The child killing allegations were not made by isolated nutcases but by major newspapers and by leading members of child abuse organisations. They have now ceased but the people responsible have not been called to account.
What is happening in Jersey looks like a repeat of our Irish witch-hunt.
Rory Connor, Dublin, Ireland
Richard feels that the response of the British media to the latest revelations is inadequate. In Ireland the media simply buried the scandal since they were almost 100% responsible for it. At least your UK journalists can cast the blame on [Jersey police inspector] Lenny Harper (who is from Derry by the way) and so they are prepared to give LIMITED coverage to the collapse of this witch-hunt. We should be so lucky in my country!
Rory Connor, Dublin
** I also coined the phrase "Victimless Murders"!