Two hundred clerics from the Catholic Church meet today about child abuse. The reality, however, is that they covered it up for decades.
Take the notorious case of one Father Tony Walsh who raped numerous boys in Ballyfermot, Dublin.
Catholic Bishops did not report the child abuse allegations to the Gardai for a full seventeen years. Yet Walsh later confessed that he raped at least one boy a fortnight.
Church authorities suggested that he be taken out of the area and appointed to a marriage tribunal to deal with annulments. The only reason this was not done was because two other child sex abusers occupied the posts.
Instead of punishment, Walsh signed a ‘spiritual contract’ with Fr Michael Clery, the leader of the anti-choice organisation Youth Defence, who condemned abortion a ‘sin’ – even while he covered up child sex abuse.
When the Dublin diocese eventually decided to throw him out of the priesthood, Rome reversed their decision.
All of which begs one question: Why is an institution with this record still controlling 95% of Irish primary schools today?