Open the books

A Garda who investigated one of the most notorious clerical child abusers in Ireland has called on the Catholic church to “open its books” about child sexual abuse.

Retired Garda Martin Ridge was a key player in the investigation which led to the conviction and jailing of Fr Eugene Greene for twelve years in April 2000.

The Donegal priest sexually abused at least 26 victims between 1965 and the early 1990s.

“It’s always the victims, the survivors who come forward,” said Ridge, who interviewed many of Greene’s victims.

“Why can’t the Church come forward and open its files.”

“Unless they open their books there is no other way.”

“Instead, there seems to be a determined resistance to the truth. We’ve seen it in Ferns, in Dublin, in Donegal where I live.”

“It’s simply incredible,” he added. “There is a dry rot eating away at the institutional Church.”

Three different bishops headed the Donegal diocese during Greene’s reign of terror.

Ridge found that were complaints were made to parish priests about Eugene Greene dating back to the 1970s, but the Raphoe diocesan office said they had “no record of any allegation being filed”.

Martin Ridge, author of 'Breaking the Silence'

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.