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POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

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POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

Post  LJC on Tue 24 Aug - 13:58

On the news today, a report has concluded that Police, Roman Catholic Church and the Goverment of the day jointly conspired to ensure that a Priest suspected of being involved in act of terrorism which killed several was never arrested.


Last edited by LJC on Tue 24 Aug - 14:06; edited 2 times in total

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Re: POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

Post  LJC on Tue 24 Aug - 14:02

From the BBC news today.

The police, the Catholic Church and the state conspired to cover up a priest's suspected role in one of the worst atrocities of the Northern Ireland Troubles, an investigation has found.

Nine people died in bombings in Claudy, County Londonderry on 31 July 1972.

The NI Police Ombudsman's probe found that high-level talks led to Fr James Chesney, a suspect in the attack, being moved to the Irish Republic.

No action was ever taken against Fr Chesney, who died in 1980.

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said that the government was "profoundly sorry" that Fr Chesney had not been properly investigated.

In 2002, the Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, began a probe into the original investigation.

His report, published on Tuesday, found that detectives in 1972 had concluded that Fr Chesney was an IRA leader and had been involved in the bombing.

He added that by acquiescing to a deal between the government and the Catholic Church to move Fr Chesney to a parish in the Irish republic, the Royal Ulster Constabulary was guilty of a "collusive act".

He said this had compromised the investigation and the decision "failed those who were murdered, injured or bereaved" in the bombing.

He said that if officers involved were still alive, "their actions would have demanded explanation, which would have been the subject of further investigation".

As well as investigating complaints made against the Police Service of NI, the Police Ombudsman also has the authority to look at investigations carried out by their predecessors, the RUC.

'Never arrested'

Mr Hutchinson said some detectives' attempts to pursue Fr Chesney were frustrated ahead of a meeting between Northern Ireland Secretary William Whitelaw and the leader of Ireland's Catholics, Cardinal Conway.

There, it was agreed that the priest would be moved to a parish in Donegal, just over the border in the Irish Republic.

The Ombudsman found that the Chief Constable, Sir Graham Shillington, was made aware of this decision.

Mr Shillington said he would "prefer a move to Tipperary". Tipperary is about 200 miles from the border.

Fr Chesney, who denied involvement in terrorist activities to his superiors, was never arrested.

On Tuesday the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, said the church was not involved in a cover up over the role of Fr Chesney.

Claudy is a small village, with a mixed Protestant and Catholic population, six miles south-east of Londonderry
Nine people were killed in the three blasts, which happened on 31 July 1972
No warnings were given by the bombers
The IRA never claimed involvement, but were assumed to be behind them
Local priest Father James Chesney rumoured to have been a member of the IRA unit responsible
He was transferred by the Catholic Church across the border to Co Donegal
He died in 1980 without ever being questioned by the police over the atrocity
"The Church was approached by the secretary of state at the instigation of senior members of the RUC," he said.

"Furthermore, the Church subsequently reported back to the secretary of state the outcome of its questioning of Fr Chesney into his alleged activities.

"The actions of Cardinal Conway or any other Church authority did not prevent the possibility of future arrest and questioning of Fr Chesney."

Sinn Fein, the political party closely indentified with the IRA, said the deaths in Claudy were "wrong and should not have happened." The party repeated its call for an independent international truth commission.

BBC Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson said that the report lacks any explanation from Cardinal Conway or Mr Whitelaw about how they came to their decision to move Chesney.

"As both are now dead, we can only speculate as to their motives," our correspondent added.

"The most generous theory is that they felt that protecting the priest was the lesser of two evils.

"During that turbulent period in 1972, many believed that Northern Ireland was on the brink of a sectarian civil war. Almost 500 people were killed that year.

"If a priest had been arrested in connection with the Claudy bomb, it could have pushed community relations over the edge."

Both Protestants and Catholics were killed in the blasts.

The youngest victim was eight-year-old Kathryn Eakin who was cleaning the windows of her family's grocery store when the first bomb exploded.

The other people killed were Joseph McCluskey 39, David Miller aged 60, James McClelland 65, William Temple 16, Elizabeth McElhinney 59, Rose McLaughlin aged 51, Patrick Connolly, 15, and 38-year-old Arthur Hone.

Mr Hutchinson said that he accepted some of the decisions taken "must be considered in the context of the time" but added that the conspiracy still amounted to collusion.

"I accept that 1972 was one of the worst years of the Troubles and that the arrest of a priest might well have aggravated the security situation.

"Equally I consider that the police failure to investigate someone they suspected of involvement in acts of terrorism could, in itself, have had serious consequences."

He said he had found no evidence of criminal intent by anyone in the government or the Catholic Church

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Re: POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

Post  LJC on Tue 24 Aug - 14:17

Mr Hutchinson said some detectives' attempts to pursue Fr Chesney were frustrated ahead of a meeting between Northern Ireland Secretary William Whitelaw and the leader of Ireland's Catholics, Cardinal Conway.

There, it was agreed that the priest would be moved to a parish in Donegal, just over the border in the Irish Republic

The McCanns left Donegal in 1967, and Maddy's father Gerry was born later in England, but the family still have relatives and friends in the county I wonder if that included Fr. Chesney?

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Re: POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

Post  tanszi on Tue 24 Aug - 15:13

It still says that he was suspected, did they have proof he was involved in the death of these people? If they did why oh why is this only coming to light now?

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Re: POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

Post  LJC on Tue 24 Aug - 16:29

tanszi wrote:It still says that he was suspected, did they have proof he was involved in the death of these people? If they did why oh why is this only coming to light now?

The intelligence surrounding such cases to do with terrorism is such that if the general consensus is that someone in particular is a suspect, then in all probability that person was involved up to their eyeballs and should at least have been formally investigated.

The way the Roman Catholic Church stands by its Priests is a total disgrace and, silly me, I thought these people, these Fathers of the Catholic Church, lived holier than thou lives, free of sin. What is coming out now about the Pope, about the alleged conspiracies to cover up, is shocking and appalling, and shows the lengths they will go to to protect their own. I have to say each to his own and I believe we should all respect other's religions, but as someone who is 'undecided' about religion in general, I could never be persuaded to follow the Catholic Faith. I don't know, we all talk about Free Masons in connection with Madeleine's case, but the more I hear about the sinister goings on in the Roman Catholic Church, the more I think the real truth is to do with protecting a Portuguese Priest.

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Re: POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

Post  kitti on Tue 24 Aug - 19:24

Does it really surprise anybody that a priest is being protected.


If they can cover up paedophilia then they can cover up anything.

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Re: POLICE, CATHOLIC CHURCH & STATE COVER UP? TODAY'S NEWS SUGGEST COVER UP TO PROTECT PRIEST SUSPECTED OF ACT OF TERRORISM 38 YEARS AGO

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