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Gardaí were aware of Smyth’s abuse in early 1970s, inquiry told

June 25, 2015

An institutional abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland has heard that gardaí were aware of the activities of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth as far back as the early 1970s.

Our Executive Director Maeve Lewis responded to the news on RTE last night.

Brendan Smyth went on a rampage for 40 years and there were hundreds – maybe thousands – of children who were sexually abused here in Ireland and also in the USA.
 
What Loreto [Martin] is describing so eloquently is the fact that the abuse doesn’t stop when the abuse stops. The impact continues on for years and years and really devastates people’s lives.
 
Some people like Loreto manage to make a life for themselves. Other people have not. Every day at One In Four we hear stories from people who have struggled in every aspect of their lives - in their marriages, in parenting, in their professions.
 
And with good help people can really turn around their lives. But not everybody has that opportunity.
 
One of the bitterest things for the people who come to One In Four is that quite a lot of them know that if only people in authority had acted they would never have been abused and their lives would have been so totally different.
 
We’ve always known that people in the Church knew. We always knew that medical people knew. We always knew that perhaps people in the State knew. And today we hear that the Garda actually knew as far back as the 1970s. And we have met lots of people who were abused in the 70s and 80s whose lives would have been so different if only somebody had acted.
 
In a way today is reminding us yet again what happens when people are treated with deference because of who they are and are not held accountable for their actions. We can only hope that we’re beginning to learn as a society that that cannot happen ever again.
 
In a sense I think the Catholic Church in Ireland has learned an awful lot. Cardinal Brady (who will be appearing [today]) used to talk about a ‘learning curve’ and that used to really irritate and annoy survivors.
 
The truth is the Catholic Church has put in good protocols and practices and it would be very unlikely now that Bishops or other senior Church members could act in the way they did.
 
One of the biggest questions for us as a civil society is what have we actually learned? And while some things have changed…There is a the Children First Bill which will make it obligatory for all professionals, such as myself, to report allegations to the child protection services…That’s been meandering through the Dáil with no sense of urgency for the last couple of years.
 
We have child protection services that are completely under resourced. When we make notifications on behalf of our clients who are now adults there is a completely inconsistent response across the country.
 
And then we have the fact that people like Loreto reach out to organisation like One In Four, and we really struggle.
 
Our waiting list for counselling is actually closed at the moment, although people are welcome to contact our advocacy officers.
 
We desperately need adequate funding and of course we depend on the generosity of the public too.
 
While we claim to have learned so much about all the revelations in the last 40 years, here in the south we still have so much to do. Northern Ireland has a world class child protection service. We need to move on and learn from that model so that we are not going to have episodes like the Brendan Smyth episode in the future.
 
I just can’t say strongly enough the devastation sexual abuse causes and the suffering that it causes, and in this case unneccesarily.
 
If only adults who had information had acted.

 

Maeve Lewis, Executive Director


 

If you would like to make a donation:

Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by signing up to donate monthly through MyCharity here.
 
On-Line
You can make a secure donation on-line here.
 
Cheque
Cheques can be made payable to One In Four Ireland and either posted or handed in to our office at 2 Holles Street, Dublin 2.
 
Cash
Cash donations can be made at our offices. There are envelopes available at reception.
 
Bank Transfer
BIC: BOFIIE2D
IBAN: IE21 BOFI 9014 9091 5014 67
Sort code: 90-14-90
Account no: 91501467
 
SMS from your Mobile
TEXT GIFT to 57800 to donate €2.50.
Texts cost €2.50 per SMS. A minimum of €1.38 from each text will go to One in Four. Service Provider Phonovation Ltd. Helpline 0818217100

 

 

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Categories: General.

Do You Shop At Tesco?

June 23, 2015

 

Do you shop at Tesco?

Do you want to help One In Four?

Every six weeks, your local Tesco store will donate up to €1,000 to help three good causes in your area. And you're the one who decides where the money goes.

You can nominate One In Four to benefit from these donations by simply dropping in one of these forms to your local Tesco.

Our contact details are already there - you just need to fill in the bit about what we do for the community, from your point of view.

Something like: "One In Four helps people who have experienced sexual abuse as a child. Through therapy and advocacy they work to break the cycle of abuse. One In Four are fundraising to reduce their waiting list and see more men, women and families."

You can drop in as many forms as you like to as many Tesco stores as you like.

Download the form here.

Can you spare 5 minutes to help survivors of sexual abuse?

 

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Categories: General.

Tea & More For One In Four!

June 19, 2015

 

Today - the 19th of June 2015 - is our big annual event Tea & More!

It's on this day that we are ask our friends, supporters, staff - and everyone! - to organise a tea party, coffee morning, wine tasting, or whatever takes your fancy!

This is our big fundraising day, so we recommend asking your guests to make a donation or consider signing up as a monthly donor.

 

If you would like to organise an event:
Please contact our Head of Fundraising Simon on (01) 662 4070 or simon@oneinfour.ie.

 

If you would like to make a donation:

Monthly
You can provide One In Four with a regular and reliable doantion by signing up to donate monthly through MyCharity here.
 
On-Line
You can make a secure donation on-line here.
 
Cheque
Cheques can be made payable to One In Four Ireland and either posted or handed in to our office at 2 Holles Street, Dublin 2.
 
Cash
Cash donations can be made at our offices. There are envelopes available at reception.
 
Bank Transfer
BIC: BOFIIE2D
IBAN: IE21 BOFI 9014 9091 5014 67
Sort code: 90-14-90
Account no: 91501467
 
SMS from your Mobile
TEXT GIFT to 57800 to donate €2.50.
Texts cost €2.50 per SMS. A minimum of €1.38 from each text will go to One in Four. Service Provider Phonovation Ltd. Helpline 0818217100
 
 
Thank you so much!
 

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Categories: General.

What Do You Say To Someone Who Discloses Sexual Abuse?

June 1, 2015

The Advocacy services are often contacted by family members or friends who have recently had a loved one disclose an experience of sexual abuse. It is difficult to know what to say or we can often be afraid to say the wrong thing when someone divulges they have experienced sexual abuse.

It can be incredibly difficult for someone to talk about, so bear in mind they have chosen to tell you and trust you will be able to hear and understand what they have to say.

There are no hard and fast rules but the following suggestions maybe helpful:

 

Listen
It’s important the survivor is given the space and time to speak openly about their experience and feelings. Try not to ask for details or direct questions.  They may talk about their experience in a very casual way and should not feel under pressure to explain what has happened.

 

Empathise
Expressions of empathy and understanding are vital. The fear of not being believed can often be what has made it difficult for someone to disclose before now. Convey your genuine belief, give them your full attention accepting what they tell you and how they feel.

Those who have experienced abuse can often have a negative view of themselves. A non-judgemental response is essential. Recognise their strengths and various ways they have coped to date.

 

Explore choices
Rather than giving advice explore the choices they have. An experience of abuse takes away a person’s control and it’s important they are allowed time and space to make decisions for themselves. 

Giving someone information about support services may be helpful but it’s important they take the next step at their own pace. It is difficult to see of loved ones distressed and we may want to them take a certain direction, reporting to the Gardai for example; however it is important to respect their choices and decisions.

Discuss how you can support them in the future. Be realistic about the support you can offer, don’t try to be an expert or make promises you can’t keep. 

Sexual abuse can have an devastating,  long lasting impact on a person’s life, however this does not mean they are hopeless, we see our clients grow into strong competent men and women who go in to live happy and healthy lives as a result of finding way to survive their horrific experiences.

 

Deirdre Kenny, Advocacy Director

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Categories: General.

One Day at One In Four

May 19, 2015

We are looking for extremely generous donors and businesses to give One Day to us. Someone with the means, compassion and generosity to do.

It costs us €2,112 every single day to help all of the women and men who reach out to One In Four for help.

This €2,112 covers all of the therapy sessions, all of the courtroom visits, all of the advice. Everything we do.

It allows us to meet hundreds of people and families, and to answer thousands of calls. It even includes our electricity bills, our phone bills, and even the cup of tea that every one of our visitors gets.

By donating €2,112 to us you will be responsible for all of the help each survivor – each man, woman and family – gets for one day this year.

You will be the reason One In Four opens on that day.

And you can choose the date. It might be an anniversary, it might be your birthday, or it might be a date that is important to you for some other special reason.

And (if you’re happy for us to do so) I would like to display your name (or your company’s name) in our reception that day so that every visitor can see it.

If there is a chance that you or your company is in a position to make this donation of €2,112 today then I do hope you will do so.

You can also spread your donation over 12 monthly donations of €176 each. Or why not club together with a bunch of friends or co-workers and sponsor a day together?

If you have any questions then please Simon on (01) 662 4070 or by e-mailing simon@oneinfour.ie

Thank you so much.
 

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Categories: General.

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