DPP warns clerical abuse support group to halt calls for prosecution

A SUPPORT group for victims of clerical abuse have received a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) warning them to halt their campaign seeking a prosecution of the notorious Father B in the Cloyne report.

DPP James Hamilton

The group, called the Religious Abuse Truth and headed by Kevin Flanagan, whose brother Mickey suffered horrific abuse in Artane Industrial School, sent up to 10 letters to the DPP criticising his failure to prosecute Bishop Magee for reckless endangerment and for failing to seek a prosecution in any of the eight abuse cases against Father B.

Just yesterday, a ninth victim of Father B was informed by the DPP’s office that he would not be seeking a prosecution in her case.

Earlier this week, the Rape Crisis Centre urged the DPP to meet with the Cloyne victims to explain the lack of prosecutions against Father B.

On their Facebook page, Religious Abuse Truth had urged people to write to the DPP about the lack of prosecutions around clerical abuse in Cloyne — despite the damning National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) report.

Since the report was published in 2008, one priest, Fr Brendan Wrixon, was given an 18-month suspended sentence in recent weeks for sexually abusing a teenage boy during confession in North Cork.

However, the DPP did not react well to this recent campaign informing the group that he must be “impartial and independent” when making a decision and how he “cannot therefore consider representations made by members of the public with the purpose of influencing prosecutions of criminal cases”.

He pointed them towards Section 6 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1974 which makes it illegal to write to the DPP to ask him to prosecute or not prosecute unless one is a victim of the crime, a lawyer, a doctor or a social worker.

Last night, Mr Flanagan said he was disgusted the DPP could suggest prosecuting the support group for trying to stand up for abuse victims when he “has totally failed the victims”.

“He told us we had broken the law. But look at what Fr B did and what Bishop Magee did in protecting him and other paedophile priests. The victims of these abuses have had little or no justice — it’s a total disgrace that case after case isn’t being prosecuted.”

One of the Cloyne abuse victims last night said that “it was beyond crazy” that “nine cases which have huge similarities have been thrown out again and again”.

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