Thursday 20 July 2017

'I put my faith in Bertie Ahern . . . I couldn't have been more wrong'

Andrew Madden -- the bestselling author of 'Altar Boy' -- anxiously waits to see what comes of this week's report into Church sex abuse in Dublin . . . and wonders will his years of patience be justified

ANDREW MADDEN

Back in early 1998 I naively thought that all I needed to do was write to then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pointing out that there was by then enough information in the public domain to justify an inquiry into the practice within the Catholic Church of moving paedophile priests onto new parishes in Dublin.

I couldn't have been more wrong -- Taoiseach Ahern was not in the slightest bit interested, telling me that the Church was not an organisation that the State could investigate and that the State could only have inquiries into matters of urgent public concern.

I remember being so disappointed that our relatively young new Taoiseach could have such a backward out-of-date reaction to an issue I was sure would never go away until it was properly addressed. Once I had gone public about my experiences as a child and had also told everyone in Ireland that I had been compensated, surely others would come forward to reveal similar experiences and demand similar redress -- I wasn't wrong about that.

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