Church faces special inquiry blowtorch

Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON June 28, 2013

IF anyone wondered what was at stake in this Special Commission of Inquiry, they needed to look no further than the rafts of tables stacked with barristers between Commissioner Margaret Cunneen and the public gallery.

Most days, more than 18. Highly skilled, highly paid and highly charged.

Some, such as Julia Lonergan, SC, and Warwick Hunt, were there to assist the commissioner and lead witnesses through the mountainous volumes of evidence submitted to the inquiry. The remainder represented individual interests – the police, the top brass, the church, the top clergy, the Newcastle Herald.

This was round one. At stake was the public credibility of a police force faced with damning allegations that a “Catholic mafia” existed within its ranks and that a key detective was shut out of investigations by forces wanting to protect the Church.

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