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Bishop Walsh Supports Archbishop's Courageous Comments


The Clare People, Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Archbishop Diarmuid Martin


Bishop Willie Walsh has come out in support of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's comments that  strong forces in the Catholic Church wanted the truth about clerical abuse scandals kept hidden. “I would agree I think generally with what the Archbishop was saying that our handling of child sex abuse issue in the past was catastrophic and that there is still a good deal of denial,” the Bishop told RTE. “There is a crisis of faith in Ireland and I think we are not fully facing up to it. I think in many ways there is denial in relation to the issue of child sex abuse and there’s denial in relation to the crisis of faith. I think it was a very powerful and courageous talk by the Archbishop and largely I would agree.” Bishop Walsh said he had also been discouraged with the response of the church hierarchy following the child abuse inquiries. He also suggested that if he had been a bishop in the 1970s he would have made a catastrophic mess of handling child abuse allegations.


The folllowing Comment was first published and then removed by The Clare People. Perhaps Bishop Willie, who is so careful not to hurt the feelings of false accusers by defending the innocent, is touchy when people criticise his own behaviour.

Willie Walsh has been a great media favourite since he became Bishop of Killaloe in 1995. He has frequently denounced the failures of the institutional Church in dealing with child abuse, apologised to victims, gone on pilgrimages of repentence etc.

Oddly enough he HAS "made a catastrophic mess of handling child abuse allegations" and it wasn't in the 1970s either! I am referring to Bishop Willie's patronage of a school where dozens of teachers were falsely accused of child abuse and for 13 years the Bishop did – and said – nothing.

Briefly Patrick McGlinchey was teaching in a school for mentally handicapped children when one mother accused him of child abuse in March 1997. (That was 2 years after Walsh became Bishop). There was an immediate outbreak of hysteria and practically every male teacher in the school was accused. One pupil accused 17 teachers, another accused 31 and McGlinchey himself was accused by 45 pupils. He was physically assaulted by parents and his solicitor was also accused of child abuse. After a 19 day trial in 2002, the jury acquitted him in less than 2 hours. However the school refused to take him back and he had to get an order in the High Court in May 2009 quashing his suspension. The High Court had to order the school to hold an inquiry.

40 people took CIVIL proceedings against Mr. McGlinchey. Half of them were struck out in 2000, several more after his acquital and the last ones in January 2010 i.e. 13 years after the initial allegations.

For all these 13 years Bishop Willlie remained silent. He is great at taking part in campaigns that the liberal media approve of, but condemning false allegations of child abuse does not come into that category. After all the school was founded by nuns and one of the originally accused was also a nun. That’s not something that Bishop Willie wanted to get involved in! It remains to be seen if his successor will do any better.

I have dealt with this issue on my website The link is ...

Rory Connor , June 01, 2010