"THE MEMORY OF JESUS IS BOTH SACRED AND SUBVERSIVE"
Saturday, 3 December 2016
CHURCHES AND SEXUAL ABUSE
Chaplain shared bed with teen pupils on school trip, court told
A WOMAN claims she was sexually abused by a school chaplain over a three-year period, including sharing a bed with the priest and another student during a trip overseas.
The 28-year-old woman, who alleges the abuse began when she was a transition year student, has launched a High Court action for damages.
“He exploited her continually and regularly,” said Jack Fitzgerald SC, for the woman.
“His attitude to the claim and what she says happened is that none of it ever happened.”
The woman has sued the priest as well as the school and the local bishop. They have denied the claims.
Mr Justice Robert Eagar was told the school claims it is not vicariously liable for any alleged actions of the priest.
She claims that between 2004 and 2007 she was repeatedly and wrongfully physically and sexually assaulted, falsely imprisoned and sexually abused.
She says she was subjected to sexualised behaviour by the Catholic chaplain and teacher in her secondary school.
She has alleged that on a school trip abroad, when she was 16 years of age, he invited her and another student to sleep in his bed with him.
The three of them spent the night together in his bed, she claims.
The priest, she has further claimed, was very attentive to her on the trip and after that sent her private text messages.
She has also claimed the priest continued to send private text messages to her and they became increasingly personal and sexual in nature.
She has alleged the priest bought a mobile phone for the specific purpose of texting her and allegedly advised her they would wait until she was 17 before they could take the relationship further.
A few days after she turned 17, the priest brought the girl and some friends to the cinema. She claims when he took her home he kissed her.
It is claimed the physical contact developed and progressed from kissing and cuddling to oral sex.
She has claimed the priest was held in high regard by everyone. Her counsel said the woman first made her allegations in 2011 and the school board of management conducted an inquiry and found there had been no sexual contact between the two.
A later assessment found the priest to be a low risk. The case continues.
CHURCH OF IRELAND
Investigation into alleged sex assault at boarding school
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent
The Garda and child and family agency Tusla are investigating an alleged incident at a major Dublin boarding school, following a claim that a 13-year-old boy was sexually assaulted in a dormitory with a hockey stick by eight other pupils.
The incident is alleged to have taken place late last Thursday night at the 450-year old Church of Ireland-governed King’s Hospital secondary school in Palmerstown. However, it was not reported to the Garda, Tusla, or the Church of Ireland authorities until Tuesday. Dr Ken Fennelly, secretary to the Church of Ireland Board of Education, who said he had not been told of the allegations until he was informed of them on Tuesday by The Irish Times, said Tusla and An Garda Síochána had begun investigations.
The eight pupils will remain suspended until investigations are completed, said Mr Fennelly. However, the 13-year-old alleged victim will remain on in school, with the agreement of his parents. The school board will also meet.
Following a series of questions over two days to the school, its principal, John Rafter yesterday confirmed Tusla’s investigation: “No further statement will be made by the school at this time,” he said.
The school’s 24-strong board of governors includes the Church of Ireland’s primate Archbishop Richard Clarke; the Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson, as well as Bishop of Meath and Kildare Pat Storey. None was available for comment as the church’s bishops are currently on retreat.
Under child protection rules, people with knowledge of child abuse or neglect are expected to lodge reports “without delay” to the authorities, while reports should be made directly to gardaí if a child remains at immediate risk of danger.
In February 2008, King’s Hospital and Swim Ireland agreed to pay substantial damages after a 10-year battle to 13 female victims of convicted sex abuser Derry O’Rourke, who had been employed by the school as a swimming coach.
Under the settlement, 12 of the victims each received six-figure payments and costs against the school, while the remaining victim got a lesser sum. They had claimed the school was vicariously liable for his actions. They claimed O’Rourke was employed by the school as its swimming coach and pool manager, but that he was allowed to remain despite complaints having been made about him to the school on several occasions from 1973.
Its becoming increasingly clear that churches are not fit to run schools.
Schools should be run by educational professionals who put principles like CHILD SAFETY, EDUCATIONAL GUIDELINES, ACADEMIC TRUTH etc first and proslytising and the interests of religion.
We should be grateful to churches for providing services in the past that the state did not.
But in the 21 st century it maybe time to separate religion and basic education.
Religion should be for the church, the Sunday school and the home.