November 13, 2005

Ahern placates abuse victims

The Sunday Times

THE taoiseach is to meet with Colm O’Gorman, the director of One in Four, a support group for sexual abuse victims, in an attempt to defuse the row over his defence of the Catholic church.

Bertie Ahern will hold a meeting on Thursday with O’Gorman, who was abused by Sean Fortune, one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priests, to explain why he has been so supportive of the church following the Ferns report.

Last week Liz O’Donnell, a Progressive Democrat backbencher, called for an end to the the “special relationship” between the church and state and the “cosy phone calls from All Hallows to Government Buildings”.

Ahern responded furiously: “Yes, I do ring All Hallows,” he said, adding that the state owed religious communities “a great debt of gratitude”.

Ahern, who only referred to a sense of “disappointment” at the evidence of the Ferns inquiry, pointed out that the church made an indispensable contribution to Irish education.

Posted by kshaw at November 13, 2005 07:39 AM