Sunday 4 December 2016

Conspiracy of silent shame sheltered the 'dirty old men'

Brought up in a caring church community, Ross Hamilton now sees the glaring hypocrisy of unChristian patriarchs

Published 28/08/2011 | 05:00

I grew up in the church. Well, not in the church itself but in the parochial house beside the church. The church grounds were my playground, the priests and sacristans were my friends, and up until I was 15 years of age, this was wonderful. I was surrounded by wonderful people and learned many beautiful things through this institution. Little did I know that the priesthood held some very damaged and some evil men.

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The first five years of my life were spent in 77 Colepark Drive, Ballyfermot -- the curate's house. It's surprising how much I remember from back then and how warm the memories are.

At that time the community, through the folk music movement and the Peace Corp, had come together with our church and the whole place was abuzz almost continuously. There was a real sense of community there and our house was a hub of activity for the happy and downtrodden alike.

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