HAS BISHOP TREANOR INHERITED PAEDOPHILE PRIEST'S HOUSE?
Relatives of one of the victims of Down and Connor paedophile priest, Father James Donaghy have contacted this Blog to say that the imprisoned priest has signed over his privately owned property to Bishop Noel Treanor and the diocese!
The Donaghy victim known as "David" (not his real name) brought a case against Father Donaghy and the Bishop of Down and Connor for the years of sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of the priest who is currently in prison and due to be released in December 2017.
David has received a painfully small amount of compensation because Father Donaghy's church files are no longer in the jurisdiction.
David's relatives have been told that these files are now in the Republic of Ireland but have no way of confirming that. They are asking if these files are in the hands of the papal nuncio in Dublin or if they have been sent to the Vatican?
In any event, as part of the settlement deal, Down and Connor has paid some compensation to David and in return Father Donaghy of Lady Wallace Drive, Lisburn has signed his personally owned house over to Bishop Treanor and the diocese.
The deal includes the provision that Father Donaghy, when he gets out of prison in December 2017 will have the right to return to the property and live there for the rest of his life. After his death the house will be at the disposal of Down and Connor.
Houses in Lady Wallace Drive are currently valued at between £150,000 and £300,000.
The arrangement between Father Donaghy and Bishop Treanor seems strange, especially in light of the fact that he has been dismissed from the priesthood by Rome and is no longer associated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Why would Bishop Treanor entertain any notion of coming to a financial arrangement with a priest who is serving a sentence for abusing children and vulnerable adults?
Was it to try and mitigate the Church's losses in the compensation claim? Are there not some people you should not do a financial deal with?
Has Bishop Treanor not now tainted himself, post facto, with involvement in the Donaghy case?
Surely some principles are more important than money and the amount given to David would hardly purchase a decent new car?
Below is an article about David and his experiences from an interview given to UTV - Ulster Television:
Abuse by priest 'destroyed my family'
23 SEP 2013
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.