April 30, 2006

Profile: Champion for the abused valiantly joins political fray

The Sunday Times

Colm O’Gorman

It was July 1984 and Colm O’Gorman wanted to tell his sister that he had been sexually abused by Fr Sean Fortune. But the words wouldn’t come. Instead, he told her he was gay and that he had been having an affair with the priest, a monstrous character who eventually committed suicide in 1999 while facing 66 charges of molesting young people.

A few years earlier, when he was 15, and the abuse was going on, O’Gorman tried to tell his mother what was happening. Fortune was waiting downstairs in their home in Wexford, about to take him away for a weekend. It was the third such trip and O’Gorman knew what would happen, but such was the fear that the words wouldn’t come on that occasion either.

Fortune had told his young victim that he was the one with the problem. At the time the tactic worked. O’Gorman believed that seeking help or telling someone what was really going on would be an admission that something wasn’t right with himself.

He compared his situation to hanging from the edge of a swimming pool. Because “the words didn’t exist” to tell, he just let go — and drowned.

Posted by kshaw at April 30, 2006 07:02 AM