"Cancer Trials Delayed by Contraceptive Objections"Added to www.alliancesupport.org on October 5, 2005
Sunday Business Post
cc Geraldine Kennedy, Irish Times
Cathal Goan, RTE
I'm pleased to see that the Sunday Business Post has brought to light another scandal in the Catholic Church - and just in time for the resumption of the Oireachtas as well. This should take the pressure off Senator Joe O'Toole and his Marino Institute of Education scandal - because PriceWaterhouseCooper said that the Christian Brothers are NOT diverting State funds for their own private use.
The MIE affair was a kind of updated version of the Richmond Newstreet scandal of a couple of years ago where the Brothers were supposed to have diverted funds from Canada to an Irish charity in order to avoid paying child abuse Compo in Canada. The SBP said at the time that the Revenue Commissioners were investigating the Irish charity. Have they not finished their investigations yet? I don't recall reading about the results of same in the SBT. (Actually I am a civil servant myself and made some enquiries. I was left in little doubt but that the Commissioners regarded the affair as a farce).
But of course the current scandal is more sexual than financial as it involves "repressive" Catholic teaching on contraception being applied in a hospital. However there is a precedent for that as well. Remember the scandal a few years ago about Symphysiotomy - the allegedly barbaric and un-necessary operation carried out on hundreds of women because of Catholic teaching on contraception and sterilisation.I seem to recall that the Institute of Obstetricians informed the Minister for Health that the operation was the best treatment available at the time and quoted the British Journal of Obstetrics to that effect. This was not enough for the Symp "victims" (aka compo seekers) so the Minister proposed to employ a Swedish Professor to carry out an investigation. It turned out that the professor had written articles in medical journals praising the procedure and was immediately rejected by outraged "victims"! I think the current position is that the Minister cannot find a sufficiently anti-clerical investigator who will say what the "victims" want him to say.
Your scandal is a joke - like all the others. However there is a very important issue coming up shortly which is not funny at all. Nora Wall's application for a certificate declaring a miscarriage of justice is before the Court of Criminal Appeal on 1st December. Nora Wall was the first woman in the history of the State to be convicted of rape, the first person to receive a life sentence for rape and she was subject to obscene abuse by your journalist colleagues. I was told by one of her defence team that she was convicted in a climate of hysteria created by the media and specifically by Mary Raftery's "States of Fear" programmes. I have written to Cathal Goan of RTE and also to Geraldine Kennedy of the Irish Times about this matter (since both of them employ Mary Raftery). However I have little doubt that they will do a cover up next December - the same kind of thing they are always accusing the Church of doing.
Will you give this some publicity to this genuine scandal? I will send you copies of my letters to RTE and the Irish Times. This will be a test of your integrity as a journalist and a human being.
11 Lohunda Grove