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Irish Times 22 December 1999 - SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN


Sir - In relation to the recent controversy regarding whether or not Sister Stan knew about sexual abuse in Kilkenny in the late 1970s I would like to put the record straight.

I was the childcare worker referred to in the States of Fear programme and in the book Suffer the Little Children, who resigned from St. Joseph's Kilkenny in 1977.

I did not tell Sr Stan at any stage that children were being sexually abused in St. Joseph's because I myself was unaware that sexual abuse was occurring.

It was in 1995/1996 that I got my first inkling that children had been sexually abused in 1977, almost 20 years after it is alleged that I told Sr Stan.

It is my belief today, as it was then, that Sister Stan did everything she could in 1977 regarding the children in St. Joseph's.

Yours etc





On several occasions Mary Raftery has claimed that  Sister Stanislaus failed to take action on a  complaint of sexual abuse made to her concerning St. Joseph's, Kilkenny in the 1970s. When faced with the evidence of Edward Murphy, Mary Raftery said that her claim is  based on a statement made by Sister Stanislaus to the Garda in 1995. Sister Stan has repeatedly explained that, in her statement she was she was speaking about sexual abuse with the wisdom of hindsight, but that she had so such suspicions at the time. Mary Raftery appears to believe that Sister Stan told the truth in her statement to the Gardai but subsequently told lies about it. Does she believe that social worker Edward Murphy is also lying? Or maybe she think that he did not know about sexual abuse in 1977 but Sister Stan did?

In the case of Raymond Noctor -v.-The Attorney General and Others, the President of the High Court accepted that the nuns did not know about sexual abuse in the 1970s. Raymond Noctor claimed that he told Sister Conception about sexual abuse at a meeting which was also attended by Bishop Birch and by two Garda Sergeants who were working in a voluntary capacity in St. Josephs. The judge did not accept that such a meeting took place. Among other things, he pointed out that in 1995 one of these Sergeants took the initial statement from Raymond Proctor in relation to sexual abuse and this statement makes no reference to the alleged meeting 20 years before.

The judgement of Justice Finnegan is dated 1st March 2005. Two days later Mary Raftery repeated her allegations against Sister Stanislaus and Sister Conception. She did not take issue with the judgement of Justice Finnegan.  She simply ignored it!

Does Mary Raftery believe that Sergeant Tuohy and Sergeant Geraghty were also lying when they denied that the meeting had taken place? She does not say this in her article. Is she afraid of a libel suit or could it be that her hatred is directly SOLELY against the Catholic Church?