Sunday, 22 February 2015

FATHER JAMES DONAGHY - THE SAD SAGA.

James Donaghy

This week brought the news that the former parish priest of Bangor in Northern Ireland has been dismissed from the priesthood by Pope Francis for the sexual abuse of at least 4 young boys and men.

What many people do not realise is that James Donaghy is STILL A PRIEST  but has been simply dismissed from the "clerical state" by The Vatican.

That means that he can still, if he wishes to, validly say Mass and he is also bound under the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law to give The Last Rites to anyone in danger of death. So he is not a "Catholic cleric" anymore but he is still a priest. Catholic teaching says that "once a priest, always a priest" and that at ordination an "indelible" mark is placed upon the soul that can never be removed by anyone - not even the pope - and by the sounds of it - not even God!
This week the current Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, once again apologised to James Donaghy's victims and said that he hoped his dismissal would help their healing.

Noel Treanor

I hope Bishop Treanor has put his money where his mouth is and contributed to the healing of Donaghy's victims by:

1. Meeting them personally and comforting them.
2. Providing them with all the counselling and support they need.
3. Made sure that they have been generously compensated for their years of pain and suffering.

If the bishop can afford to spend millions on renovating his palace he can certainly afford to look after Father Donaghy's victims who are still struggling to create a new life. 

Below I include the report of an interview by "David" - one of James Donaghy's victim's gave to Ulster Television. This young man was sexually abused by Donaghy in parochial houses in the diocese and later in the Diocesan Seminary at The Wing at St. Malachy's College, Belfast.

He was abused in a room that was within view of the office of the then president of Saint Malachy's - Father - and now Bishop of Derry - Donal McKeown.

Donal McKeown


The man in charge of the seminary was Father John McManus who was promoted from there by Bishop Treanor to be the chancellor of Down and Connor diocese. Father McManus has now "disappeared" from active ministry and his current whereabouts are unknown. 

John McManus


The other priest looking after the seminarians during Father Donaghy's visits there was the "spiritual director" - Father Paul Symons - who is currently undergoing an ecclesiastical trial in Dublin for historic inappropriate behaviour.  

Paul Symons

And I had been writing for years to the then Bishop of Down and Connor - Paddy Walsh - on behalf of "David's" family (confirmed in the UTV interview below) about the abuse of their son. At a meeting with Bishop Walsh and David' family, I put it to Bishop Walsh that Donaghy was claiming that he, Bishop Walsh, could not act against him because he "had something" on Bishop Walsh. Bishop Walsh denied this. 

Paddy Walsh

David was originally abused at the age of 13 as an altar boy in Whitehouse Parish in Belfast where Father Donaghy was parish priest.

When Bishop Walsh Promoted Father Donaghy to be parish priest of Bangor - a reward for being the organiser of the 2000 AD Jubilee celebrations in the diocese - Donaghy just took David with him to Bangor.

And when David entered the seminary to study for the priesthood Donaghy followed him into the seminary and abused him in a room there without anyone seemingly noticing or acting - although the activity was the talk of David's fellow seminarians.

THE UTV INTERVIEW:

A young man who was training to become a priest says he gave up after another priest, Fr James Donaghy, sexually abused him from the age of 13.
In an emotional and moving interview the 32-year-old man looked back on his years of torment by a man he believes was protected by the Catholic Church.
"I wanted to be a priest from a very young age, and in fact I wrote to the bishop when I was ten and, saying I wanted to be a priest," said David - not his real name.
"That dirty b****** has destroyed my faith. I don't even know if anybody exists up there anymore, I have no feelings for the Catholic Church whatsoever."
David's dreams of the priesthood were shattered when he became the target of unwelcome sexual assaults from the ruthless, sexual predator, Fr James Donaghy.
His ordeal began when he was a 13-year-old altar boy and continued into his 20s, such was the fear instilled in him by his abuser.
David is angry about the way Fr Donaghy destroyed his family.
I HAD AWFUL ROWS WITH PARENTS; I STOPPED SPEAKING TO MY DAD FOR ABOUT 8 TO 10 YEARS BECAUSE WE JUST CLASHED, COULDN’T TAKE IT. I LOST EVERY FRIEND I HAD, I LOST MY FAMILY, I HAD NOBODY I COULD TURN TO BECAUSE I CHOSE NOT TO TURN TO SOMEBODY.
The priest may be serving 10 years in jail for offences against David and three others, but he has left David carrying the life burden of guilt for the sins of the father.
"This never leaves you," he continued.
"When you have this, when you have all this stuff done to you and you have it done as a kid and you can't understand why and you fall out with your family. You feel like nobody loves you, you feel like you are dirt; you are damaged and it never, it just does not go away."
Eventually in 2009, it was a letter from the priest Pat Buckley to David and a follow up phone call that helped persuade him to finally speak out.
The case against Fr Donaghy was based on the testimony of David and another victim, Father Patrick McCafferty - but the path to justice was not smooth.
David explained: "We were brought into that courtroom, we thought we were going ahead with this and then suddenly the cases were going to be separated."
There would be two trials - the first involving the evidence of Fr McCafferty and later the trial involving David, who said he was devastated.
He said: "I still have bodily convulsions if it gets too much for me in my head, and I'll literally end up in a ball on the floor."
The priest denied all 23 charges going back 17 years.
Jailing Donaghy for 10 years in February 2012, Judge Patrick Lynch described him as a ruthless individual, a sexual predator who used his charm, humour and domineering personality to get his gratification.
Two months ago Fr Donaghy finally admitted in court to being a paedophile as another case was brought against him. He was convicted but will serve no extra time in prison.
As David reflects on his ordeal, he thinks of his parents' divorce brought about by Fr Donaghy playing one parent against the other to ensure access to David.
He said: "He took a leading role in the family whenever they had separated. He effectively in some sense did turn my mother against my father."
And now, since UTV interviewed David and his wife, they too have broken up.

DO WE NOT NEED A FULL INQUIRY INTO THE WHOLE DONAGHY SAGA - AN INQUIRY THAT WILL LET US KNOW WHO KNEW WHAT - AND WHO ACTED AND WHO DID NOT ACT - AND WHY?

+Pat Buckley

7 comments:

  1. Judge Gemma Loughran's involvement is astonishing and - I am reliably informed - caused immense distress to the victims. The 'dogs on the street' know how close friends she is with Paddy Walsh. She severed the cases of Fr McCafferty and Victim B and imposed a media black out on proceedings in the court. She did this against the wishes of the police and PPS, giving no explanation for her actions. This would have led to two separate trials with two different juries. The general public would have known nothing. It would have been the victims' word against Donaghy's. Donaghy would have walked. Mrs Loughran sat on the trial for a whole week. A member of the public on a jury would never have gotten away with that. The victims did not know who the judge was initially as they were waiting to be called to give evidence and had not been at the court yet.. A relative of Victim B smelt a rat about Loughran and Walsh's connection and said something to the Prosecutor, Ken McMahon, who went digging and found out about Walsh and Loughran's close friendship - Walsh's name being everywhere in the book of evidence. The trial was aborted (if that is the right word) after a week and it was 10 months before Judge Lynch took over and reconvened the trial. Among his first actions, was to reverse all of Loughran's decisions. You are dead right, Pat, about the need for a full inquiry. Even the tenacious and fearless Chris Moore backed off (or was "warned off"???)

    Priest, D and C.

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  2. Dismissing Rev Donaghy should not be the end. Has there been civil proceedings and has he signed the sex offenders register. Has he been offered the opportunity to engage with appropriate professionals to manage his urges so that he is not a risk to anybody who is vulnerable now or in the future. The "Paul Daniels Dissappearing Act" is not a solution to the issues that face the R C Church or society in general

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    1. He will be on the sex offenders register for life, it said in the reports.

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  3. Abuse of private information.

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    Replies
    1. ???? Can you please explain what you mean.

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    2. Not private information. It's on the internet. http://www.thedetail.tv/issues/100/judge-steps-aside/chronicle-of-a-judge-stepping-aside-from-a-case

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  4. YO PADDY,

    A Jewish bloke named Jesus said,

    "A millstone should be hung around their neck & they be thrown into the sea"!

    Did you ever hear of him?

    ReplyDelete