Archdiocese ‘must release list of Walsh’s victims’

THE archdiocese of Dublin should release the list of all the victims Tony Walsh admitted to abusing to allow families know if it may explain the suicide of their loved ones, a woman who warned Church authorities repeatedly about his activities has said.

Angela Copely of the Ballyfermot Resource Centre said: “The saddest part of all this is the victims are out there and hearing all this and they know this could have been stopped and it wasn’t..the even sadder thing is the people that have died from suicide.”

She said this may help to explain a spike in young male suicides in the Ballyfermot area of people that matched the age of Walsh’s victims.

Ms Copely was outspoken in her criticism of Fr Alex Stenson a still serving priest in Dublin. In 1994 Ms Copely went to report Walsh’s behaviour to Fr Stenson and was offered tea and chocolate biscuits.

“I told him what he could do with them because he really didn’t seem to care about what I was telling him... I’m hopping mad because I’m thinking of all the people who could have been saved if he was a normal citizen.”

She called for Archbishop Martin to remove Fr Stenson from his position as a serving Dublin parish priest, saying that Fr Stenton had ‘covered up’.

She added: “This report vindicates us who were told we were witch hunting the poor holy priest.”

A victim of Walsh’s who identified himself as Sean told RTÉ’s Liveline that those who were aware of Walsh’s activities “should go, and the sooner the better remove them from office”.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Chief Executive Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop said: “Reading this chapter reminds not only the victims, but their families also, of how they were fobbed off year in year out by the authorities in the Church and made to wait and suffer years of further torment and turmoil, until they eventually got justice.”

The Labour party yesterday revealed that the monies that were to be paid to survivors of abuse by the Catholic Church have not been delivered.

Party education spokesman Ruairi Quinn said: “More than €26m is still outstanding from the original Indemnity Deal, negotiated by the then Minister for Education, Michael Woods, in 2002, when the congregations pledged to hand over €128m in cash and property. Furthermore of the €348m pledged in 2009, following the shocking disclosures in the Ryan Report, just €20m (6%) has been handed over.”

- Connect, a help line established at the request of survivor groups said it would be open over the weekend in order to handle an increase in calls.

The service is available at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland.

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