IT HAS BEEN DECIDED TO INVITE THE PEOPLE AND PARISHIONERS OF MAGHERAFELT TO A MEETING TO DISCUSS A PLAN OF ACTION TO TACKLE THE BULLYING TAKING PLACE IN THE PARISH AND ITS ASSOCIATED INSTITUTIONS LIKE ITS SCHOOLS.
This Blog's interest in Magherafelt began when the Muldoon Family - Magherafelt parishioners - were threatened by the PP - Father John Gates - with not allowing their son - Conree - to receive his First Holy Communion last Saturday - May 12th.
As it turned out, Conree did get his First Holy Communion - and the one missing from the ceremony was Father Gates himself.
As the Sunday World reported last Sunday - Father Gates has gone AWOL.
In the past 10 days, a stream of messages and phone calls had flowed in our direction from a great number of people who have been deeply hurt by Father Gates - and others in the parish - who are engaged in bullying.
There are stories of dedicated Catholic old ladies being shouted at in church and being sent home in tears.
There are stories of younger women being verbally abused and reduced to tears in the presence of their children for daring to stop their cars near the entrance of the Parochial House.
There are stories of other old ladies being shouted at and verbally abused because some of their hedge clippings fell on parish property.
There are stories of teachers and classroom assistants being made physically and emotionally unwell by bullying.
There are other stories of school children having to travel to Cookstown and Armagh to receive the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation.
There are stories of boards of governors not tackling important everyday issues.
If these were only isolated stories there would not be so much concern.
But these are multiple stories - being told by a great variety of good people - who feel their lives are being unnecessarily made HEll.
The INITIAL response was to raise concerns about all these incidents through this Blog and through other media outlets.
But the problem is so great that it has been decided highlighting the issues is no longer enough.
The parishioners of Magherafelt now need to form a CONCERNED PARISHIONERS - MAGHERAFELT group to challenge the wrongdoing and to support victims.
Therefore these parishioners - with me as an enabler - want to have a preliminary meeting to bring this group together.
To facilitate Magherafelt people this meeting will be held in Magherafelt and held very soon.
Would those interested in attending please contact me either on:
When you get in contact give us a way of contacting you and tell us whether you would like the meeting of an evening or on a weekend afternoon.
Now is the opportunity for ordinary Magherafelt people to have their views known and heard.
It is planned to have the meeting as private as possible and no one will be asked to give their names or details.