Date Published: 23-Dec-2009
THE Bishop of Galway, Rev Martin Drennan may have to resign through his ‘guilt by association’ as a former Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin mentioned in the Murphy Report into child sexual abuse.
Bishop Drennan had said that there was no need for him to resign as he believed he had done nothing wrong and that in fact, the Murphy Report had found that his handling of one particular case involving complaints against a priest had been appropriate.
However on the Keith Finnegan Show on Galway Bay FM last Friday, Bishop Drennan conceded that his resignation might indeed be inevitable through “guilt by association” though he maintained throughout the hour long interview that he had not set out to hurt anyone, had ensured guidelines into the handling of sexual abuse allegations against the clergy introduced in 1996 were adhered to and that the Murphy Report was not critical of him at all.
“I feel different to the other four Auxiliary Bishops mentioned in the Report as my handling of one particular case was found to be correct and appropriate . . . but if there is a mass resignation called for, yes, it could come to me resigning,” he said.
Bishop Drennan served as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Dublin Diocese between 1995 and 2005 before he came to Galway as Bishop.
He is one of five Auxiliary Bishops mentioned in the Murphy Report and to date one of those bishops, Donal Murray of Limerick has announced his resignation.
On Thursday, Bishop Drennan met with the priests of his diocese for a two hour meeting where he was told parishioners needed more information and that people were asking questions, which is why he decided to talk on the Keith Finnegan Show.
He explained that as an Auxiliary Bishop he was involved in pastoral care of priests who were sick or in difficulty and was in contact with parishioners, feeding information back into the system which would help in the placing of priests in parishes etc.
He met monthly with other bishops in the diocese to discuss complaints and allegations and to ensure guidelines were rigorously adhered to but he wasn’t aware of the details of all sexual abuse allegations, though he was aware that there were a number of complaints made in the diocese.
Though he and an Advisory panel advised the then Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Desmond Connell, all decisions were ultimately made by the Archbishop.
“Yes, mistakes were made within the system because like all systems, there is good and bad but people did the best they could. The Murphy Report has criticised management structures which it said were inefficient as was the sharing of information and though the Report also says there was a cover-up, I don’t believe there was or that we ‘minded’ the abusers.”
He said the Murphy Report had been tough and that he was most uncomfortable with what was in it. “I feel deeply stressed and upset that the ideals we had on ordination day have been tragically ignored and destroyed and I am ashamed that some priests could do what they did.
“But I am comfortable with my own role and believe that my integrity is intact and that the Report is not critical of me. I have no regrets about my time in Dublin as I have very happy memories of those years,” he said.
He said he believed there was complete transparency within the Dublin Diocese after the Church introduced its guidelines in 1996, though he added that he wasn’t aware of the all of the abuse that had been going on or had been complained of as “information was scanty” and the ultimate decision rested with the Archbishop.
“I don’t see how the fall-out of Bishop Murray’s resignation has helped to heal or give closure to anyone. Prosecution will bring justice but vengeance doesn’t bring healing but if there is a call for mass resignation, yes, it could come to my resignation,” he said.
Bishop Drennan said that his priests supported him and that if he could continue to bring unity and be of service to the diocese, he believed his resignation wouldn’t serve any purpose.
Calls to the programme were mixed with half of the callers asking for the Bishop’s resignation.
A poll carried out through The Connacht Tribune showed that 72% of people believed Bishop Drennan should resign in the wake of the Murphy Report.
On Monday, further calls were made by a victim of clerical abuse for all bishops mentioned in the Report to resign on the grounds that they were aware of the extent of the abuse and did nothing to call a halt to it.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Moment of truth for Galway U21s
Date Published: 01-May-2013
FOUR matches, four victories, one after extra-time, a Connacht title, four goals and 56 points scored, four goals and 30 points conceded, a heap of wides from their opponents, sinews strained, buckets of sweat and blood spilled.
It’s been one hell of a roller coaster campaign for the Galway U21 footballers but all that will be forgotten come 7pm on Saturday evening at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick when they cross swords with Cork for the honour of being crowned Cadbury’s All-Ireland champions.
Six weeks ago as Galway set out on their 2013 U21 journey against Sligo in Tuam, the May Bank Holiday weekend final was always the target. They took each game as it came and now it has come down to this – 60 minutes of football to decide who the best U21 team in the land is.
And while there were times along the way when Alan Flynn’s charges looked like they’d fall off the wagon, against Mayo, against Roscommon and again against Kildare, Galway showed resilience and mental strength to time and again bounce back and defy the odds. Often down, never out. It is that perseverance that will stand to Galway in the heat of battle this weekend.
Cork has won an All-Ireland at this grade more times than any other county since the competition’s inception in the 1960s. The most recent of their 11 titles was won in 2009, and they’ve claimed a three-in-a-row of Munster titles with a defeat of Tipperary last month.
Interestingly, five players – Alan Cronin, Jamie Wall, John O’Rourke, Tom Clancy and Damien Cahalene, the son of former inter-county player Niall – that are expected to start this Saturday lined out in each of the last three Munster finals, so they have experience of playing in the pressure cauldrons.
Galway aren’t as experienced. True, a couple of players already have a All-Ireland medal from 2011 – a year Galway beat Cork in the semi-final – but there are a lot of young guns in the panel. Of the squad of 33, about 19 of them are young enough to play U21 next year as well, while eight or nine of the starting 15 will be eligible next year, although you wouldn’t think it given the levelheadedness they’ve displayed throughout the past six weeks.
Galway had plenty to spare over a hapless Sligo outfit in Tuam the first day out, winning by 16 points, which didn’t flatter them, but old rivals Mayo in the following game at the same venue was a different story. After a tense and tight hour of fare, Galway took the spoils after showing immense character to dig it out by two points in a dogfight, 0-9 to 0-7.
Fighting qualities were needed again in the Connacht final in Hyde Park against Roscommon – Galway were minutes from being knocked out of the championship when a heroic comeback, three points in as many minutes from Kilkerrin/Clonberne’s Shane Walsh, rescued extra-time, a period which Galway never looked like losing.
The Tribesmen took their chances when they presented themselves, a trait that also saw them knock-out Kieran McGeeney’s highly rated and much fancied Kildare outfit in a thriller at Tullamore a fortnight ago.
The Lilywhites were wasteful, true, but that’s their problem, and Galway just had too much natural footballing class to take their chances and emerge with a deserved five points, 2-10 to 2-5 victory, despite 19 wides from the vanquished.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
GalwayÕs U-13 and U-16 sides both through to national finals
Date Published: 14-May-2013
It proved to be a very successful weekend for Galway Schoolboy soccer as two representative sides qualified for national finals at the end of the month.
It was drama all the way in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday afternoon as the U-13 side drew 1-1 with the Midlands League, but came through the dreaded penalty shootout to prevail by 5-4.
Meanwhile the U-16 side had to travel to Cork, where they emerged 2-1 winners following a very impressive performance. For the second game in succession, it was the goals of the Connolly brothers that proved crucial to both team’s success.
Andrew lines out with the U-16 side and he notched both their scores in terrific away win, while younger brother Aaron was on target for the U-13 side and also converted the winning spot kick.
Mervue United captured a third consecutive Connacht Youth Cup with an impressive 4-1 win over Castlebar Celtic in Milebush on Saturday.
SFAI U-13 INTER LEAGUE SEMI FINAL
Galway League 1
Midlands League 1
(AET-Galway won 5-4 on pens)
A low scoring contest might indicate few chances, but one has to credit two outstanding defences whose splendid covering and marshalling of the front men was a joy to watch.
Galway’s Oisin McDonagh and Adam Rooney never put a foot wrong in central defence, while full-backs Byron Lydon and Matthew Tierney were equally efficient in defence, and getting forward with regular forays.
Further afield, they matched the visitors in terms of intensity and creativity and in the second half in particular should have pulled away from a Midlands side that won the U-12 national title last year.
The visitors certainly offered the greater attacking threat in the opening half, but found home custodian Mark Greaney in top form. Galway’s best chance fell to Joshua Quinlivan, but he pulled an effort wide of the target.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.