Survivor Campaign Group Publish List of over 70 Irish Priests Convicted of Sexual Abuse
By Freya Drohan
August 20, 2018
A recently published list names 70 clergy members who were named as abusers in the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy, and Cloyne reports.
BishopAcountability.org referenced media sources and Irish State reports in order to publish the names - however, the list of 70 people represents "only about 6%" of the total number accused of sexual abuse.
The list is the first time Irish priests have been named and shamed in public. BishopAccountability has already published three databases profiling convicted abusers in Argentina, Chile, and the US.
Announcing the publication of the Irish-focused list, the US-based website said,
"We are painfully aware of what we as outsiders do not bring. We donít have the anguished history of Irish survivors, or the deep knowledge of the Irish crisis that many visitors to this page will have", as it called for help to expand on the Irish database.
The group also said in a statement, "These databases have confirmed for us the clarifying power of lists of names. A public list makes children safer. It gives profound validation to victims. It serves as a resource for prosecutors, journalists, scholars and even church insiders: over the last few years, several church officials have asked us to add names or information to our U.S. database."
In the statement, those behind BishopAccountability.org added that they hope the Irish database will "encourage an open debate about how societies balance an accused person's privacy rights against a childís right to be safe and the publicís right to know."
Among those listed are notorious paedophiles including Fr. Brendan Smyth, Fr. Sean Fortune, and Fr. Malachy Finnegan. The latter was publicly shamed by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, whose brother was "seriously physically, sadistically abused" as a youth by the priest in Newry, Co Down.
On Monday, the Pope issued a letter addressing accusations of sexual abuse by priests - the first time the pontiff has publicly commented on the matter. It can be read in its entirety at the link below.