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ALLEGED CHILD ABUSERS TO BE ALLOWED TO INTERVIEW COMPLAINANTS – IRELAND.

Alleged child abusers to be allowed interview complainants‘Serious concern’ new Tusla guidelines overly weighted in favour of accused

The new policy guidelines, a copy of which has been seen by The Irish Times, are set to come into force in June, and Tusla social workers are currently receiving training in their implementation.

People under investigation for child abuse, including sexual abuse, will be permitted to personally interview their alleged victims in certain circumstances under new Tusla investigatory procedures.Child protection experts have expressed serious concern that the guidelines, which are contained in the Tusla’s new Child Abuse Substantiation Procedures, are overly weighted in favour of the rights of alleged abusers and risk “re-traumatising”alleged victims of abuse.The new policy guidelines, a copy of which has been seen by The Irish Times, are set to come into force in June, and Tusla social workers are currently receiving training in their implementation.

The introduction of the guidelines follows several legal cases brought against Tusla by individuals investigated over abuse allegations who claim their rights were breached by the agency.Social workers must “stress test” allegations when interviewing complainants, the guidelines state, including by asking if there may be an “alternative explanation” or “misinterpretation on their part” in relation to the allegations.Facilitate suspectsIn some cases social workers should facilitate suspects to “stress test” the allegations themselves by personally questioning complainants or witnesses.

Related

Guidelines for investigating abuse ‘horrifying’, says survivorLegal fears overshadow victims in new Tusla guidelinesOver 200 gardaí begin cybercrime training to speed up online child abuse investigationsIf the complainant is still a child or is a “vulnerable adult”, it would be “generally” inappropriate for them to be questioned by their alleged abuser, the guidelines state.

Tusla defended the guidelines on Monday, stating they were drafted to comply with emerging case law and court directions “in this complex legal area”.

If direct questioning is judged inappropriate, other forms of “stress testing” should be considered, including allowing the suspect to write out questions to be put to the complainant, allowing their solicitor to question the complainant or allowing the suspect to ask questions via videolink.

In some cases a suspect may be allowed to be in the room while questions are put by a social worker, the guidelines state. “Consider using a screen to separate the complainant or witness who is being questioned.”

Tusla staff are instructed that the identity of the alleged victim should be disclosed to the suspect at an early stage, even in cases where the “complainant is at serious risk from the [alleged abuser].

”In most cases alleged abusers should be allowed to tell their employers or partners that they are under investigation before Tusla does so.

In cases not involving “immediate serious risk” to children, the rights of the accused must take precedence over the need to inform third parties of abuse allegations, the guidelines state.

Tusla social workers tasked with substantiating allegations of child abuse should also consider the impact their findings could have on an alleged abuser, including the impact on their employment prospects, their family or on childcare proceedings they are involved in, the document states.

Tusla defended the guidelines on Monday, stating they were drafted to comply with emerging case law and court directions “in this complex legal area”.Alleged abusers are constitutionally entitled “to fair procedure and due process” and Tusla’s guidelines are in line with best practice, a spokeswoman said.

PAT SAYS

Allowing abusers to question their victims!

The first thought about that is shock!

Could this not be more abuse?

Imagine letting Brendan Smyth question the children he abused?

Imagine letting Maciel question the priests, seminarians and children he abused?

I’m glad they are more or less ruling it out in the case of children and vulnerable adults.

But some victims suffer the fear of running into their abuser all their lives.

Could recovering victims not be sent right back into trauma?

I know there are regular false allegations and miscarriages of justice.

But the police question the victims.

Social workers and other professionals question them.

The victims can be crossexamined in court by the accused’s lawyers.

Do we need another layer of questioning?

What do readers think?

99 replies on “ALLEGED CHILD ABUSERS TO BE ALLOWED TO INTERVIEW COMPLAINANTS – IRELAND.”

As someone who was abused over a one-year period, I am shocked that an accused abuser might interview me. I feel in the cases of flimsy evidence and proven false accusations there has to be some opportunity for the accused to express concerns and speak his/her truth, but only in the rarest of circumstances. I have seen the devestation caused to individuals falsely accused. It is as horrible as being abused. But one thing I vehemently object to by Pat is the continuing usage of that photo of B.Smyth. It brings my abuse (by a farmer) revisiting all over again. Horrible. Please remove his photo. Other media outlets don’t use his photo as I’m certain they are morally conscious of the potential effect of retraumatising the survivor. Pat, act responsibly.

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Both Pat and I were abused and we have no problem with Smyth’s picture being published. I actually think it is good to show people the monsters that sexual abusers are and therefore to be always vigilant and on guard where children are concerned.
You don’t have to read this blog if you find Smyth’s picture so distressing.

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10.24: How sympathetic of you!! I hope you never become a therapist/counsellor. You obviously, in your own insensitive admission, don’t have an issue with retraumatising survivors. I certainly cannot even still erase the memory of the face of my abuser. I have recurring flashbacks. For the greater good of survivors photos are not at all conducive to full healing. Let’s have consideration and empathy for the majority of survivors who can be left fragile and vulnerable for life. I know.

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12:30 pm. I have suffered abuse and am sympathetic with fellow sufferers. You are making a lot of assumptions about me.

I am just voicing a contrary opinion to yours. That’s all.

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@12:30 pm.
I hope you never become a counsellor or therapist. Someone who jumps to hysterical conclusions as you do would be ill-disposed to maintain the unbiased approach needed to counsel and advise people in an impartial manner.

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Anon@10:24. You seem not to realise that many predatory abusers present as charmingly disarming. In calling for “monsters to be shown ” you appear very misguided should you think that like Smyth’s photo they all present as obviously ones to be avoided.
MMM

Liked by 1 person

You have posted comments here before so you are obviously interested in this blog and what Pat has to say.
You shouldn’t try to tell Pat what he can or can’t publish as that may undermine what makes Pat different to politically correct media outlets.

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10.28: Don’t overstate my request. I admire Pat for the stance he takes in informing us of relevant issues, abuse and cover ups and accountability. I support him in that agenda. I know Pat is strong against his critics but I am simply recognising the truth that a photo of an abuser can retraumatise survivors. I know. I am simply saying to Pat that I find the photo very disconcerting, unsettling and a catalyst to open up and revisit unnecessarily my memories. I am concerned for the impact on survivors. Is that too much to ask? Reading narratives can be unsettling too but accompanied by photos can be very destructive. That’s my truth and I suggest you be less dismissive of others if you haven’t been through an experience of abuse. I read this blog but don’t always agree with its direction. However on the issue of abuse and its consequences, I am on the same page as Pat.

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10:28
The poster you attack is entitled to his/her view without your censure. It’s entirely reasonable for them to respond to what they find here. That’s called dialogue.
It’s not reasonable for you to make assumptions about them and to give them your advice. They didn’t ask for it. Yours is a most unhelpful series of comments.

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This area of criminal investigation is a minefield of emotional trauma, and potential injustice, for both an accuser AND the accused. Therefore a balance must be sought to ensure, in so far as possible, that the scales of justice do not tilt prejudicially one way or the other, but that they remain strictly in equilibrium.
Justice that is driven by sensationalism is not justice, but a lynch-mob respectably dressed in judicial robes.
The area is fraught with heady emotion, particularly anger and vengeance. Therefore the danger of overreacting is high, and it tends, I suspect, to favour an accuser. Because the crime of child-sexual abuse is, rightly in some respects, a higly emotive issue, there is an altogether more pressing reason to ensure that an accused person’s rights should not be compromised, or sacrificed, to ensure the satisfaction of these emotions.
I think that these guidelines are, in the round, fair. Doubtless in time there may have to be some revision of them, but presently (and by and large), they appear to be evenly balanced.
I appreciate the point that cross-examination of an accuser could take place in court through an accused person’s lawyer rather than at an earlier stage. But by the time a case reaches court, a wrongly accused person’s reputation would have been irreparably damaged, and the stress, on both himself, and any family, considerable.
Ask yourself whether you would be content to experience such damage to your good name.

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10.49

If they don’t go to court most of the time, then they couldn’t come to public attention. So how do you know this?

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10:49
They could still come to public attention ie locally, or within professional circles…etc.
Otherwise, mind your own business.

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Anon@10:58.
Could you please explain why you ask such a negatively inferenced question in relation to what is a reasonable and coherent comment regardless of whatever the time?
MMM

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10.58: Are you serious? There is 2am comment!! And if there was, so what? You are the drunk one.

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MC talking now as a victim of abuse! Pontificating again on something he know Fck all about. Priceless. What a jerk.

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1.37
If you were a regular reader of this blog (or if you are, but hadn’t the short-term memory of a goldfish), you would know, from at least one of my posts, that I was indeed sexually abused in a barley field near my home, by an older boy, when I was six years old.
And again, by the same boy, about three years later.

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1.52
First, I did not post at 10.49.
Second, I presume (since you jejunely failed to say) that you are referring to my post at 12.04 pm.
Please point out to me the non-sequitur in that post.

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Pat will know whether you posted or not MC as you keep telling us he has your email contact. Who is the liar here? You or Pat Buckley. Please answer.

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MC, did not post at 1:49.
I did but inadvertently posted my reply to him at 1:49 when it should have been 12:04. Mea culpa.

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3.08

You don’t think things through to their logical conclusion, do you?

I post as ‘Magna Carta’ (blue avatar) and under this username I send Bishop P. my email address.

Now I know this next bit is going to require you to stretch your intellect to painful cognitive length, but if I HAD posted at 10.49, under ‘Anonymous’ (green avatar), I should hardly have sent Pat my email address as this would have blown my cover to him. Wouldn’t it?😕

Idiot.

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I’d say this new layer of questioning is in the interests of the Social Workers, Tusla and the State.
Of course many victims will be retraumatized.
That doesn’t matter particularly when the State might have to pay out for cases brought against ‘professionals ‘ for whatever reasons. Victims don’t matter. They don’t count, frequently viewed as a nuisance.
Neither the Church, the State, Society or Professionals, are particularly concerned for victims.

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Pat, you are absolutely right. To allow alleged abusers cross examine the abused is absurd. It is most definitely an opportunity for the abused to be placed in a position whereby they re-live the ordeal of being abused, re-live the experience of being answerable to the abuser. Paedophiles and aedophiles are very clever and cunning people. They can put words into the mouths of others, they could almost ‘force’ a victim into a false confession where the victim is further victimised and not vindicated. Leave the cross examination to the professionals, the judiciary and the Gardai, in the hope that justice may follow as duly deserved in legitimate cases

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The proverbial has hit the fan in Liverpool! You have my word: if a RC S.G. department literally went out of their way to make a total disaster – even putting all their blood, sweat and tears into it: THEY COULD NOT HAVE DONE A WORSE JOB! ! !
And the whole intricate, evil, and sadistically diabolical mess stems right from the sociopath in SPAIN!
No wonder he was moved out the way in the first Place! What a VERY… VERY… DANGEROUS… INDIVIDUAL…! Total Carnage!
Alas! It is the faithful who suffer, as always.

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The impact of these new guidelines would obviously be relative to the degree of abuse suffered/inflicted, relationship between abuser and abused, the time scales involved and the psychological damage inflicted by the abuse.
Some victims may actually want to have the opportunity to meet their abusers face to face in order to dispel the notion in the abusers head that he/she may still wield some form of psychological control over the victim, such as the Stockholm Syndrome, fear, etc.
Many abusers revel in the psychological power they think they have over victims, which they often do. These new guidelines may actually be cathartic for some victims who wish to show the abuser they have no power or influence over their lives.

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It is good to see some well balanced and thoughtful comments here, especially Anon@ 6:38 and Magna. Relying solely on the blog information here, it seems that safeguards are proposed to prevent worst case scenarios of victims being confronted and further traumatised. But I’m not entirely convinced of the necessity for the option of an accused led interview scenario. Having this available as a potential defence “tactic” may open too many doors to legal wrangling not necessarily best focused on justice for the alleged victim or the accused.
In any case, knee jerk immediate criticisms of new proposals which solely visualise images of sensationalised worst case scenarios seems inappropriate and premature, and I’d like to know more about the checks and balances proposed.
Your blog headline here +Pat is simplistic and misleading, and your continued use of Brendan Smyth’s photo is entirely unnecessary so I support Anon 12:29’s request in that respect.
MMM

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10.51: MMM, thanks for your comment. And I appreciate your support of me for asking Pat to remove B. Smith’s photo. Pat may be immune against the effect of photos of abusers constantly popping up, but he should have a greater charity and sensitivity to the fragile survivors primarily of this abuer (Smyth) but for all survivors. Pat, again, listen, listen listen…

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Well done, Pat! Your pastoral instincts have been the constant in your life. And the Ignatian Exercises put a lot of store by the constant in discernment.

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1.05: Pat, thank you for removing the photo of B. Smyth which I requested in posts today. I commend you for doing so as I felt, apart from it stirring my own memories of an abuse, it wasn’t pertinent to the issue for discussion as I believe this man, nowcdeceased, would not ever have been allowed ‘interview’ any victim or survivor. His obvious depravity would have prevented that. I believe you have exercised real, pastoral sensitivity re: removal of photo. I know others think you were wrong and that you were influenced by Magna, MMM and myself (totally not true) but if they were abused, I know they’d think differently. Thank you again for showing relevant, wise and good judgment.

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I did not believe it needed taken down. But you asked me to. I made a decision that taking it down might show good faith. As you will see, others are angry I took it down.

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If you find it offensive then don’t read or look at it- simple!! Now run along and see what else you can find that you find that offends you. It’s gobshites like you that has this country in the mess it’s in. You don’t like what you read or see, DON’T READ IT.

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1.51: God your juices of silliness and immaturity going! Pat did the right thing in removing photo, both for your sake, but out of respect for survivors. You, obviously, would s**t in their faces, wouldn’t you, you sneering, contemptible fool.

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I think it was unnecessary for the removal of the picture Pat. MMM is a plonker aided and abetted by Magna (they seem to be joined at the hip). That poster yapped on before about Smyths picture on the blog and was quite frankly totally silly in their argument. When did the world try to airbrush the death camps like Auschwitz from our sights simple because they are a reminder to those that suffered there – Pat don’t be browbeaten by the MC and MMM nutters

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I too think it was a mistake to be forced into taking something down in this manner. The problem with society these days is that people are too easily offended.

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Well I wouldn’t call MC or MMM nutters. But I did think that Pat gave in too easily to a sickly little rant from a snowflake whinging about a picture. Does little snowflake not know he could close his eyes and not look at Smyth? With the stuff that’s on TV nowadays, the little snowflake must be constantly writing letters to TV producers whinging about their content. As for what’s online, one wonders how the little snowflake can surf the internet without having a panic attack!?

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Mary Whitehouse eat your heart out. Pat gave into a modern day Mary Whitehouse. I never thought I’d see the day concerning Buckley. @3.42pm you were spot on.

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3.42: Blah, Blah, Blah…..you hard hearted goon…you know quite well that Pat used his intuitive wisdom and common sense in removing photo. Go and cry in your trailer trash bed.

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3.42: Is it your contention then that if a survivor of abuse is upset by a recurring usage of photos of the perpetrator, that he or she is a snowflake? Outrageous, unsympathetic and ignorant.

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6:17 pm & 5:50 pm. Go f**k yourself/selves. This isn’t a blog for snowflakes.

Give me your address and I’ll send you some blindfolds for watching TV tonight. 🤣🤣🤣🖕

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Bishop Pat, can I request all previous pictures of the wounded healer on the blog be erased. It’s because they remind me of the abuse he was aware of and the questioning of two victims of Brendan Smyth. You see where this logic is going. Also remove all pictures of Cardinal Pell etc.

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2.52
Believe me there is no logic whatever in your tongue-in-cheek post.
There is, however, a great deal of cheek.

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@4.50pm your response to MC is a classic and I nearly wet myself. I’m only saying like – one of Mc’s quotes btw

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3.28: Your comment deserves to be bin trashed. It is typical of real, girlie, immature bitches, masquerading on this blog as tough men. Far from it, you idiot. There is a huge difference to printing Pryor’s photo (against which no allegation of abuse is levelled or proven) and that of a known, monster abuser. If you’re not intelligent enough to realise that, go to psychology classes or lock yourself in a loo!

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People in this country eNjoy the presumption of innocence until or unless they have been convicted, Pat.

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Hallo Prior @ 3:58 pm. Oh so let me see… anonymous false comments intended to deliberately mislead are those of a tough man?
Prior is currently being investigated by the Jesuits regarding an internal contemporary complaint. This investigation has not yet been concluded.
Prior has been given lots of opportunities to be a man and put his name to his comments and openly challenge what has been said about him from his time in Maynooth.
And Prior better be very careful that he doesn’t soon find himself the centre of a Garda investigation for identity fraud and email hacking…

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3:58 pm.
Prior is currently being investigated by the Jesuits regarding a recent complaint made by a Jesuit novice.
A complaint from over 10 years ago which was made against Prior from his time in Maynooth has also recently been sent to the Congregation for Religious via the Papal Nuncio.
Why are you writing deliberately misleading comments?

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If Prior is subject to investigation, inter alia, for a contemporary complaint by a Jesuit Novice, it seems to indicate that Prior was not behaving himself whilst he himself has been a Jesuit Novice. Novitiate is supposed to be a spiritual year. Perhaps Prior thought he could engage in some extra curricular activities while in noviciate ?

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3:58 pm, Instead of psychology classes, you would be well advised to attend reading and arithmetic classes. As you seem to have a serious problem with both.

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The visual effect of this blog would be greatly improved if, every time you had to mention abuse you published the pictures of either Gorgeous’s or then Deacon Jones’s bum.
You would probably get even more hits 🍑🍑🍑🍑

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Why 7:04pm are you so eager to conflate MC with Magna Hammered and MAGNA’S MUMSY? 🤔 What motive could you possibly have?

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Magna sent me an email a long time ago. I have not retained his email address. I have never met him. I have spoken to him, even by phone.

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Enough said. You tried to cover up Magna, well done. You could do better. We are not all idiots you know.

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Shit over your face mate not egg. Go back to Winemark as they only seem to know your identity these days

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Magna, darling, do you remember how the psychologist used to say we were… What was the word?… Ah, yes, ‘enmeshed’? He thought we were far too close, and in fact you burst into tears and kicked him in the ankle, you were so upset. Who would have thought that anybody could confuse Us for anyone else?

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This all sounds dangerous and stupid. Alleged abusers are innocent until proven guilty. Alleged victims need safeguarding. If they are making up a story then they are abusers from a different standpoint hi

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Pat Buckley tries to classicly deflect by allowing the odious MC to voice it’s opinion again and the nut jobs fly shite or what ever it calls itself.

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😣10:07pm

Magna, darling,
maybe he was referring
to your siamese twin, 👽
Hamish, rather than
me, dearie! 😍

That might explain matters! 😜

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