Abuse of power and bullying, goes on in all walks of life, its just a question of standing up to it..

May 2, 2009

Abuse of power and bullying, goes on in all walks of life, its just a question of standing up to it..

In October 2006 The Chairman of the GCC Peter Dixon wrote to me demanding an apology for things I had written about the GCC chief executive Margaret Coats I refused. When I was elected onto the GCC in 2007 Dixon and Coats used much council time time trying to get me to remove my postings and apologise. There was no doubt in my mind this was bullying but as I was able to take it no one on council seemed to mind.  I put up with the intimidation because I thought council members would see sense and give Coats her P45.

In trying to justify his actions to council members Peter Dixon e-mailed them stating I had compared Margaret Coats to a paedophile, this was completely untrue.  What I had done was compare the cover up (by the school authorities at my secondary boarding school, Gormanston) of  sexual abuse of young boys by a catholic priest, to the GCCs cover up of their misdeeds particularly those surrounding the activities of Margaret Coats deputy, Greg Price.

Former PA to Margaret Coats, Maxine White made allegations of bullying against Coats to all council members before she quit the GCC. As usual this was brushed under the carpet. A typical GCC investigation was carried out which did not involve speaking to the alleged victim Maxine White??

 Council members have resigned others who have not toed the party line have faced disciplinary hearings and intimidation. The presence of lawyers is all that saved them being removed as I was. Presumably his was why Peter Dixon would not allow my solicitor at my removal hearing.

What I find most depressing about all this is every year chiropractors pay £1,000 to the GCC knowing full well this body has treated colleagues in a most appalling manner and as long as it is happening to someone else, grown men and women are happy to look the other way and for doing it they wont have to pay VAT on their income. My wife and friends wanted me to do the same and I said no.

Last month the Arch Bishop of Westminster said priests who admitted abusing their power were courageous to come forward. I wrote to the Guardian stating there was nothing courageous about abusing power and adults bullying children. When I was at primary school in Ireland in the 60s I was beaten on a regular basis. Abuse of children was the norm in catholic educational institutions in Ireland throughout the 50s,60s and 70s   I remember the small bumps on the back of my head  where nuns would hit me, always leading with the ring finger, I was locked in a cupboard  so I would know what the dark hole was like before entering the fires of hell.

November was the cut off time for speaking english at “Ring College” (my Irish speaking boarding school) and when the beatings began. The first term of my third year there, I was beaten every day until my mother stepped in, sometimes twenty on each hand for offences like, speaking English, talking after lights out, not eating all my dinner, talking to girls. When my hands got used to the beatings the “nurse” would hit you across the wrists with her leather, keeping her head so still the ash rarely fell off her cigarette, cancer finished her off in the early 80s. My secondary school had friar Father Ronald Bennette  who in 2006 was convicted of sexually abusing boys during his 30 years there. Untitled-1 Surely Margaret Coats only fault cant be, that she reminds me so much of the nurse?

The infamous Dr Michael Shine was our school doctor, . Aged 11 went to the infirmary with a sore throat. Shine looked at my throat and told me to open my pants as he needed to check if I had a hernia. A street wise 11 year old, I was wary of the priests , but I would trust a doctor. The diagnosis confirmed I had to have treatment twice a week for three weeks. It was only when I studied chiropractic 25 years later I found out that testicle massage is not a treatment for hernia. 

All this abuse of power and cover up in Catholic Ireland has recently come to light in the Ryan report, (see below) that make the “Magdalene Sisters” institutions seem nice.

I was lucky  my hands healed, others had far worse experiences, men like Michael O Brien (second video). The fact that adults did little, shames the Irish people, who put so much trust in these people in power and would not question them until the evidence against them was overwhelming.

When I was 11 I remember thinking to myself I would not allow this to happen if I was grown up. Unfortunately the world is still full of adults prepared to look the other way.

When a Judge gave Father Ronald Bennett a suspended sentence for his abuse three years ago, I was the only person who  would go on the record criticising the courts decision and accused the Franciscan Order of covering up Bennetts crimes for 30 years, the sentence was overturned and Bennett was given 3 years custodial sentence. I am still campaigning for an investigation into the cover up and to see if there was a paedophile ring operating around the boarding school.

Unfortunately most of those involved in the cover up have died and it will be difficult to get the whole story and they will probably get away with their abuse of power, I tell you this story because, Peter Dixon et al are the same ilk as the catholic church, a law onto them selves accountable to no one. They have abused their power and one day the GCC will be held to  account, I just hope it does not take as long as Michael O Brien had to wait.




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