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Cardinal Brady is unfit to remain in office, but it would be wrong if he was allowed to walk away from justice simply by resigning.
When Archbishop Law of Boston was proven to have acted in the same way as Cardinal Brady, by putting the interests of the Church and child abusers above the protection of children, he was allowed to resign. He was then given the plum position of Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, which he held until he retired in Nov 2011. A lay person would have been jailed, but Archbishop Law was promoted to Rome.
Not only must Dr Brady face the law for his actions, so too should his superiors and those who turned a blind eye to the abuse, because they are as bad, if not worse, than the abusers.
That includes officials of the State who abdicated their responsibility to protect citizens.
For this to happen, it is required of the Government to apply the law, weak as it is, and hold these people to account. This is difficult when there is no political will do so, beyond some limp hand-wringing about the ‘awfulness’ of the situation. We can be sure no precedent for officials of the State being held to account in a court will be set by a government led by the likes of Mr Enda Kenny and Mr Eamonn Gilmore.
The ‘victims’ of Dr Brady and of other religious officials will know only too well that the record of the Irish legal system holding anyone who isn’t poor and working class to account is dismal.
As a result, it is unlikely the victims of Dr Brady will ever get further justice above a public recognition that their stories are true.
Dr Brady and his type will be allowed to retire in comfort, like others before him, while his ‘victims’ will spend the rest of their lives picking up the pieces and fighting the religious orders and the State for justice.
So much for a new, modern Ireland. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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