Within the past week I have been approached by a young man who claims he was drugged and raped by a Northern Ireland priest within the past 3 years 🥵
I have told the victim, as I tell all victims, that I believe his story.
At the same time we ourselves do not have the right to find the priest guilty. That can only come after a police investigation and a court case.
The story has a strong ring of truth to it as the priest in question has a strong reputation for homosexual promiscuity and also a strong reputation for the abuse of both alcohol and drugs.
The young man was about to write to the bishop of the diocese involved and I strongly advised him not to do so.
I told the young man that the bishop would immediately spring into action and put in place a strong defence for the priest.
The priest involved is somewhat a “pet” for the said bishop.
I also told the young man that the bishop, the priest, the priests friends etc would also launch a strong effort to attack the victim’s reputation with accusations of being unstable, rejected and seeking monies.
My advice to the young man was to go straight to the police with a prepared statement that would form the basis of a formal police statement.
I have offered the victim to go with him to the police as a support person – or to find someone else to go with him if he preferred.
If needs be I will contact the appropriate police unit for him and make an appointment for him to talk to two professionally trained police officers.
After he informs the police I have advised him to write to the bishop and request that the diocese pay the cost of his counselling – with a counsellor with absolutely no church connections.
I can recommend such a counsellor to him as I have found an excellent one that I have referred other church victims to.
I have also advised him to retain a very good solicitor to protect his rights – again a solicitor with no church connections.
Again, I can recommend one to him if he needs it.
NI REDRESS BOARD FOR VICTIMS.