Simon Harris TD Minister of Health
Mike Garde the Director of Dialogue Ireland joined Carolann Murphy at a meeting in the Grand Hotel last night to discuss the issue of a programme that was introduced a few years ago to rehabilitate sexual offenders.
The meeting resulted from a promise made during the election campaign to look into the issue of child protection.
Mike Garde received a request to meet Carolann Murphy two years ago when it became clear that the Church of Ireland parish of Redcross had introduced this programme without consulting the parents of children within the parish. This led to great consternation among parents and public meetings made the situation even worse.
The person who was part of this experiment featured in a recent article in the Sunday World. They were not able to get to the bottom of this issue.
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The Minister of Health invited Carolann Murphy to meet him and he was totally focussed on this issue and after hearing the testimony of Carolann Murphy he agreed that this issue would be investigated properly.
I came along to connect the dots of the origins of this programme in the ministry of the Core Church, St Catherine’s, Thomas Street*, in the mid nineties to sexual offenders at Arbour Hill involving Willi Stewart and others. It was from this Church that the ministry to place ex offenders in Protestant parishes emerged and it was felt due to the sex abuse issues in the Catholic Church it would not be appropriate to have it in Catholic parishes. Phillip Larragy is the person who has established this ministry.
* (on the site of the execution of Robert Emmet,)
A number of actions were proposed and the Minister agreed to get back to Carolann. Following the conclusion of this segment of the meeting I briefed the Minister on the concerns of DI concerning vulnerable adults in regard to the House of Prayer and the Palmarians.
I told him about my contact with the HSE which has a dedicated team looking at this area. He suggested I write to him and make connections to that team as I suggested to him that up to 20,000 Irish people could be affected by the House of Prayer most of whom would be elderly. We have no idea how many are affected by the Palmarians because of their total isolation. I gave him a copy of the book the Immaculate Deception by Jim Gallagher.
I explained to him that one of the most important persons who was the beneficial owner of the Malahide House purchased by the House of Prayer lived in his home town of Greystones. While Christina Gallagher still “owned” the Malahide House she had purchased another house in City West where her neighbours are the Kinahans.
He was most receptive and diligent in the manner he absorbed the information and was able to disentangle the legal, and ethical issues involved.