Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

Church abuse victim insists Dr Drennan must resign



Date Published: {J}

Claims by the Catholic Church that it has reformed or learned lessons in the wake of the Murphy Report will be seen as “very hollow” unless the Bishop of Galway resigns from his post, according to clerical abuse victim Andrew Madden.

He said that the refusal of Bishop Martin Drennan to step down was highly disrespectful to abuse victims and was continuing to inflict further damage to the reputation of the Church.

The comments will place added pressure on the embattled bishop to cede to calls for his resignation before he travels to the Vatican next month for a meeting with Pope Benedict to discuss “the very serious situation that prevails in the Irish Church”.

Dr Drennan is the only one of the five auxiliary bishops named in the report not to have tendered his resignation following the call of the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin for all current and former auxiliary bishops to be accountable for their actions on child protection issues.

Mr Madden told the Sentinel that Bishop Drennan had still not acknowledged a request for a meeting that he sent to him by e-mail on December 17.

“I think that is indicative of the same level of arrogance that he has displayed all along,” said Mr Madden. “He obviously feels that he owes no responsibility to clerical abuse survivors and he seems to think that the right people to ask whether he should resign are other priests, who are showing a similar level of arrogance and bad judgment in supporting him.”

Bishop Drennan has maintained that he was not fully informed of cases involving allegations of child abuse against priests during his eight years in the archdiocese and that former Archbishop Desmond Connell made all major decisions.

However, Mr Madden rejected the idea that this exonerated the Galway bishop.

“That is not the point,” he asserted. “He joined the diocese at a time when there was a culture of cover-up and he failed to challenge that culture. He asked no questions, stayed quiet and was content to ‘enjoy his time as a bishop’, as I think he put it.

“When he joined the archdiocese in 1997 it had already been criticised over the handling of allegations against Ivan Payne, who had been moved on after I made a complaint in 1981,” he continued. “Bishop Drennan could have asked ‘How many times has this happened?’”

Mr Madden said there was added impetus after 1998 when Ivan Payne was convicted of clerical child abuse. “Drennan could then have asked ‘How many Ivan Paynes do we have in the archdiocese?’ but he didn’t. If he claims to have known nothing, then it is because he decided not to ask.”

He said Bishop Drennan was continuing to inflict damage on the Catholic Church by continuing in office and said that “Any claim by the Church that is somehow different or that they have begun to listen or that they have changed their behaviour will be made very hollow unless he is removed or resigns.”

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

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

Continue Reading

Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


Continue Reading

Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads