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Sisters of Mercy Apologise to Accusers of Nora Wall

Extracts from Wikipedia article on Nora Wall

Nora Wall (formerly Sister Dominic of the Sisters of Mercy) (born 1948) is a former Irish nun of the Sisters of Mercy who was wrongfully convicted of rape in June 1999, but was officially declared the victim of a miscarriage of justice in December 2005. The wrongful conviction was based on false allegations by two women in their 20s, Regina Walsh (born 8 January 1978) and Patricia Phelan (born 1973). Walsh had a psychiatric history and Phelan had a history of making false allegations of rape prior to the event. Phelan subsequently admitted to have lied.[1] ..............

Reaction of Kevin Myers, July 1999

On Saturday 31 July, the Irish Times published an article by writer and journalist Kevin Myers. He was one of the very few to speak out in favour of Wall and McCabe at the time. He originally wrote a column on Monday 26 July to be published on Wednesday but it was withdrawn because what he sought to achieve was already happening - the release of the two accused. He was the first person to describe the trial at a witch-hunt.

"We should always beware the deeds of good men and women when there is a public war against vice of any kind. The "witches" of Salem were not persecuted by bad men or women; people then genuinely lived in fear of witchcraft, just as they did of communism in the 1950s. In the witch-hunt to remove it from public life in the US, innocent people's lives were ruined, yet through often honourable motives (apart from those of Joe McCarthy).[15]

Kevin Myers has himself been a fierce critic of the Catholic Church - one of his more moderate comments being: "The Sisters of Mercy have no charity and the Sisters of Charity have no mercy".

Reaction of Sisters of Mercy

After their conviction, the Sisters of Mercy issued a statement which read:

"We are all devastated by the revolting crimes which resulted in these verdicts. Our hearts go out to this young woman who, as a child, was placed in our care. Her courage in coming forward was heroic. We beg anyone who was abused whilst in our care to go to the Gardai (police.)

Even after the collapse of the case against the two accused, the Sisters of Mercy made no effort to apologise to Wall or to withdraw their statement of support for Walsh. One commentator [16] remarked: "The young woman their hearts were going out to, was the false accuser, not their own innocent nun. Our absolutist system had seduced them into identifying with the accuser and betraying their own sister."