Monday 19 February 2018

Why protection of vulnerable children must always take precedence over the seal of the confessional

The law extends to everyone, and priests should be no different than anyone else, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

The wholesale abuse and neglect of children in residential
The wholesale abuse and neglect of children in residential "care" in Ireland over many decades is no longer news. Picture posed

Eilis O'Hanlon

HISTORY is full of pioneers who stood up bravely against unjust laws and brought about change. Martin Luther King. Rosa Parks. The abseiling lesbians who famously stormed the House of Lords and later broke into the studio live on air as Sue Lawley read the BBC News.

To that illustrious list can now be added a new name, that of Fr Gearoid O Donnchu, who last week told Newstalk that he wouldn't co-operate with new laws on the reporting of child abuse. Truly, the spirit of principled civil disobedience fostered by Mahatma Gandhi lives on.

Meanwhile, back in the real world ...

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