The Complicit Irish Police (An Garda Síochána).
It is only with a scrupulously honest debate about our past that we can talk about our future in a very thorough way. We need a historical colloquium on examining the role between the Irish Catholic Church and the complicit Irish Police (An Garda Síochána). We also need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, with Survivors who are identified as victims of gross human rights’ violations by the Irish Catholic Church being invited to give statements about their experiences, and with the hearings open to the public. The perpetrators of violence should also give testimony and be denied requests for amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. All the Irish Catholic Church agencies and the Irish Police agencies must open their archives to an inter-disciplinary team of renowned researchers. Both the Irish Catholic Church and the Irish Police should immediately stop destroying all archives with their incriminating documents, and give a full account of those which have already been destroyed and who ordered the destruction.
For a long time, the Irish Police denied its past collaboration with the Irish Catholic Church - a past in which they gave full immunity -in both written and verbal form - and gave free rein to the worse atrocities committed by the Irish Catholic Church in their Religious-run Institutions.
There is a doctrine of international law that allows an accused to avoid prosecution for criminal offences by granting immunity. There are two types of immunity. The first is Immunity ratione materiae or functional immunity, which can be granted to people who perform certain functions of state. The second is personal immunity, or immunity ratione personae. This was an immunity granted to certain Church Officials because of the Holy Office they held, rather than in relation to the act they committed. Any Irish Cleric who, in performance of his Church duty committed a criminal offence, was immune from prosecution. This was the secret agreement between the Irish Catholic Church and the Irish Police and rubber - stamped by the elected and inept Irish Government. The virtually ineffective Irish Institution of State had considerable de jure power but little de facto power, because all the levers of power were held by the Irish Catholic Church. The incompetent Irish Government rarely (or never) disagreed with the more powerful organ of the Irish Catholic Church, but chose instead to lockstep with it and adhere to and emulate its actions.
The immunity, given by the Irish Police and applied to the acts of individuals, is an attribute of state, and it is based on the mutual respect they had with the Irish Catholic Church in their Religious-run Institutions. It is a fact that the incapable Irish State regularly asserts that every Roman Catholic Church official acting in a Church capacity was, and is, immune from any form of state prosecution..Though in recent years a few token clerics have been prosecuted through the Irish Courts, and given laughable sentences in relation to their crimes, and because they were clerics. And only because of the Irish public outcry when it for example became know that one Priest, the prolific Fr. Brendan Smyth had raped over 400 plus boys across Ireland in a raping spree for over 40 years, moved from parish to parish with the blessings and help of the Catholic Bishops who knew about all the children he raped. Another Priest, Seán Fortune of Wexford, and the specific charge that he was accused of was- the homosexual rape and sexual molestation against 29 different boys. He faced 66 charges, Father Seán Fortune was never tried, and committed suicide before any charges were proved against him. These are just two of the many Priests that the Irish Catholic Church couldn’t put the fix in for, there was a sigh of relief in Church quarters with the timely death of Father Seán Fortune. The other few thousand Clerics, who were in the same boat as Smith and Fortune have got away with their crimes against Children, with again the active support and backing of the Irish Catholic Church and its Bishops.
The Constitution of Ireland at one time recognised the special position of the Roman Catholic Church, so it was written into our very own Constitution - by themselves. An air of triumph reigned in the highest echelon of the Irish Catholic Church, with their belief that their Christian doctrine was, and is, far superior to all others and indicated their pejorative view of the Irish Constitution. Another secret agreement of Personal Immunity was conferred on the leaders of the Irish Catholic Church. It was immunity given by the civil, criminal, and administrative jurisdictions in Ireland to all senior Irish Church Officials holding a particular office. Under this immunity, the private residence, papers, correspondence, and property of a Church official would enjoy personal immunities which were inviolable. This is what the Irish Police (An Garda Síochána) upheld and knew, and it is why when the worst atrocities were being perpetrated by the Religious-run Institutions, the Irish Catholic Church knew they didn’t have to worry; their secret agreements held firm as the conniving Irish State was powerless to proceed against the might and power of the Irish Catholic Church.
While proselytising Irish politicians in Ireland in recent years assumed responsibility for the Irish Catholic Church’s crimes, other pillars of Irish Society have been slower to confront their past. We must remember that no line can, or should, be drawn under the Irish Catholic Church’s monstrosities for which the Irish police force of the time were partly responsible. During the Irish Catholic Church’s reign, An Garda Síochána played a prominent role in the rounding up of women, girls and helpless children in their thousands. None had committed any crimes, but crimes were about to be committed against them: rapes, torture, beatings and death.
In Catholic Ireland the chauvinistic Irish Police were allowed to arrest people on suspicion that they were about to do wrong, such as committing the sin of holding hands with your lover, kissing, dancing, putting on makeup, not covering your hair in church, talking in church, or not showing deference to the jingoistic Catholic Clergy by doffing your hat or bowing your head. This gave both the Irish Catholic Church and the Irish Police huge powers. All local police stations throughout Ireland had to draw up a list of people in their locality who might be suspected of being enemies of the Irish Catholic Church. Once compiled, this list was given to the local Parish Priest, who in turn sent a copy to the area’s Bishop and then up through the hierarchy which had the power to do as it liked. This is how hundreds of thousands of women and children were removed from their communities and locked away into the hellholes that were the Religious-run Institutions.
The Institutions were deliberately barbaric, and were run by Clerics who could disguise their violent nature by simply wearing religious dress. As well as the daily flogging and torture of women and children, the Religious-run Institutions were very basic and sparse. The provision of soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels, combs and toilet paper was unheard of. Food and drink were of an extremely low standard and there was never enough.
The pugnacious Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, was one of the most feared men in Ireland running, as he did, both the Irish Catholic Church and the ineffectual Irish Government with ruthless efficiency and with fanatical devotion to both the Irish Catholic Church and Rome. He had the direct help of the Irish Police (An Garda Síochána), which in its earlier years was headed by the renowned fascist Eoin O’Duffy, the Garda Commissioner (Irish Police Chief), and his gang (Blue-shirts) which was strongly supported by the Irish Catholic Church. O'Duffy advocated fascist policies and during the Second World War held negotiations with politicians in Nazi Germany about the possibility of persuading the Irish Republican Army to undertake a policy of sabotage against Britain. O'Duffy helped establish the Fine Gael Party, which is one of the main political parties in Ireland today.
Because of the secret agreements with both the Irish Government and the Irish Police (An Garda Síochána), the Irish Catholic Church was free from any review by the law courts of Ireland. This effectively meant that the Irish Catholic Church became a law unto itself, and remember this - the Irish Catholic Church appointed every sitting Judge in the land. Thus it was that the Irish Catholic Church became justifiably feared by almost every member of Irish Society.
Is it not time now for the Irish Police to be honest and accountable, to open up their secret archives to a wider Irish public and to talk about their role in enabling the Irish Catholic Church. We need the reconstruction of the Irish court system as an important first step in this direction. Unfortunately, many perpetrators - the people who carried out harmful, shameful and illegal criminal acts and their enablers in the era of criminality - have never been tried or punished for the chronicle of abuse, rape, murder and terror.
The Roman Catholic Church of Ireland ordered, organised and condoned a substantial number of heinous crimes. The most notable of these took place in the Religious-run Institutions in which hundreds of thousands of our fellow Irish citizens were systematically raped, tortured and murdered or died from their abuse and mistreatment. The true number of victims may never be known since much of the evidence was deliberately destroyed by both the Irish Catholic Church and the Irish Police in a cynical attempt to conceal and erase evidence of their outrageously evil crimes. Owen Felix O’Neill