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February 19, 2011


Rory Connor

The Irish Times report is about the case of Eddie Hernon whose name is not mentioned in the article. This saga has been going on for a quarter of a century.

Eddie Hernon was first accused by Doctor Moira Woods in 1986/87. After many years of struggle he lodged a formal complaint against Dr Woods to the Medical Council in 1992. Although delayed for years by legal obstructions, in January 2002 the Medical Council found Dr Moira Woods guilty of professional misconduct in relation to the diagnosis of sexual abuse of 11 children during the 1980s. She failed to apply necessary standards of judgement and competence, and acted in a manner derogatory to the reputation of the medical profession, it said.

It has taken a further decade to get the case into the High Court. (It is almost impossible for a falsely accused parent to sue the doctor or social worker who slandered him. In this case the fact that the former child also sued, probably made it possible.)

There was an article about Eddie Hernon in the Irish Catholic on 19 February 2004 by then editor Hermann Kelly and I quote:
Asked how such a deplorable scenario could come about, and why such an exceedingly high rate of child abuse was reported from the Rotunda SATU [Sexual Assault Treatment Unit], Mr Hernon puts the blame firmly on the shoulders of what he calls "the small clique of radical feminist ideologues who wish to paint all men as potential child abusers and rapists. Their attack is on the biological father and the family."

For other articles on the case see http://www.irishsalem.com/individuals/accused/eddie-hernon/index.php


According to the Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) report, less than 4% of all sex abuse in Ireland was perpetrated by clergy. Yet the disproportionate focus on clerical sex abuse in the media does not even remotely correspond with that statistic. I think it may be the fact that the Church's elaborate record keeping system facilitates historical investigations (and all but a handful of incidents are historic) in a way that secular equivalents do not.

Spirit of Vatican II

Ireland had 6000 priests for a population of 4000000, 6 for every 2000 men, or say for every 1000 adult men. That 0.6% of the adult male population should have been responsible for say 2-3% of the sex abuse would certainly be a very disturbing statistic, especially when that group are priests.

Kenny P

Very interesting to see Dr Woods mentioned here. A blast from my past and an old adversary. Had not heard of her for years. This is all not so good!

Kenny P

What must be remembered, Spirit of V2, is that the same Priests offended multiple times due to the stupidity and pig-headedness of the Bishops.
But Shane is right in his point.

Rory Connor

Another thing I noticed about the Irish Times article:they mis-spell Doctor Woods name as "Maura" instead of "Moira". Since the report does not mention Eddie Hernon at all, anyone trying to find the article in the archives in future will have a difficult task unless they already know the date. Using the keyword "Woods" alone gets you over 28,000 hits in the Times archive!


Spirit of Vatican II, I don't think it's a particularly surprising figure when you take into account the Church's historic near monopoly in education. Paedophiles gravitate to professions where they have easy access to children. In the US teachers and sport coaches likewise also make up an enormously disproportionate share of child abusers.

Spirit of Vatican II

Shane, some 20 years ago Eugen Drewerman wrote a shocking book Kleriker (French: Les fonctionnaires de Dieu), which was not translated into English, as far as I know. He said that the psychological image of the Catholic priest has a unique drawing power for pedophiles or for men who were fixated on their own image as innocent altar-boys. I think this would be the psychological basis of the disturbing frequency of pedophile orientation among priests.

Of course in addition the priesthood, as a Maennerbund, a fraternal blood-brotherhood, is powerfully attractive to gay men at a deep psychological level. The Vatican's panic-stricken resolve to eliminate all homosexual "tendencies" from the presbyterate is a most ridiculous performance.

Mark Hamilton

The exorcist priest said he did not have sexual relations with the woman.

Spirit of Vatican II

No, he said he had behaved sexually with her, but not had intercourse.

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