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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Majella criticised for defence of pal Cliff

Greg Harkin

Published 21/08/2014 | 02:30

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A VICTIM of a paedophile priest has strongly criticised Majella O'Donnell over her public support for singer Cliff Richard following the launch of a police investigation in England.

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Richard strenuously denies a historical child sex abuse allegation after his home was searched by police last week.

Majella, wife of country singer Daniel O'Donnell and a close friend of Richard, went on Twitter to defend him.

Majella (54) said she believed the legendary singer had been "treated appallingly" by police after his home in England 
was searched while the operation was captured live by the BBC.

But Michael Connolly, who lives close to the O'Donnells' family home in Dungloe, Co Donegal, said Majella should apologise for her comments.

"It is disappointing that Majella O'Donnell, who owes so much to public support, could not have reserved her judgment until the complete investigation has come to an end with regard to the Cliff Richard allegations," said Connolly, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse.

"If Cliff Richard is responsible for the acts he is being accused of, there is a victim who is carrying a painful legacy. (But) I do not agree with Cliff Richard's name being released before charges have been brought."

Mr Connolly said the rights of both people in the case need to be respected.

Irish Independent

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