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Religious activist tried to help 'house of horrors' mother

A RELIGIOUS activist who supported the house-of-horrors mother refused to explain why when confronted yesterday.

Well-known right-wing campaigner Mena Bean Ui Chribin (81) contacted a childcare manager and said the family needed support and not intrusive action by the health board.

Bean Ui Chribin wrote the letter to the health board days after the self-confessed 'worst mother in the world' secured a High Court injunction preventing the children being taken into care.

Bean Ui Chribin had a high public profile up to the 1990s and was synonymous with campaigns against sex education, abortion and contraception. Yesterday, she was asked by the Irish Independent to confirm that she sent the letter supporting the family in the Roscommon case.

"I am not confirming or denying anything," she said. "I have nothing to say, absolutely nothing," she said in the post office in Santry, north Dublin, where she is postmistress.

Bean Ui Chribin is understood to have been representing a right-wing Catholic group, Ograchas Naoimh Papain, based in Santry, when she wrote the letter to the health board.

During the 1970s and 1980s, she was a high-profile activist and campaigned at what she once described as the "deliberate destruction of the Irish Catholic Church".

In 1994, she insisted the Scoil Paipin Naofa school, housed on lands owned by her, only teach the traditional Catholicism of the Tridentine faith.

The dispute over religious education saw parents remove their children from the all-Irish primary school and Bean Ui Chroibin clashed with the Archbishop's office after she allegedly banned diocesan advisers and authorities from becoming involved with the school.

In another incident four years later, she was one of a group of protesters who disrupted a meeting at a school in Trim, Co Meath, where parents were being given details of a new Relationship and Sexuality Programme to be taught to primary school children.


Gardai had to be called after the protesters accused the principal of St Michael's Boys primary school of showing "perverted videos" to children.

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Speaking after the protest, Bean Ui Chribin said: "The people who are pushing the Government want a market for their condoms and their abortions. They have to create their market and the way they create their market is to get the kids and get them young.

"You and I know that the condoms are not safe. So the next back-up is abortion," she added.

And in a letter published in the Irish Independent in June 1981, she railed against the use of the term 'one-parent family', which she said was created "to cover up the spate of fornication which followed hard on the heels of the contraception campaign".

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