What has amazed and infuriated me most about the ‘should he/should he not resign’ debate in the media regarding Sean Brady is that it stops there. It stops with many clamouring for his resignation and many braying to leave him alone, that he’s ‘a good man’.
Whether or not he resigns or is sacked – what I want to know is why no one has called for the man’s arrest? Indeed, regardless of whether or not it has been called for, why have the Gardai not appeared at his door and effected an arrest?
This man is surely guilty of perverting the course of justice (swearing children to secrecy in 1975); concealing a felony (which is a crime – and the sexual abuse of these children was a felony); gross intimidation (intimidating children with the threat of eternal damnation resulting from the excommunication which was threatened in the event that they disclosed they had been abused by clergy). Anyone with a legal qualification could probably count a few more crimes of which Sean Brady is guilty. Yet this man is still free to walk our streets.
What does this say about how we treat sexual abuse in Ireland? In my opinion, it speaks volumes. The national psyche has made obvious strides away from viewing the church as completely untouchable. It has also made strides away from from viewing child abuse as something we ignore, at best, and condone at worst. That’s not enough, though. We need to realise that every child in the nation has a right to be safe and protected inside and outside of their homes. We need to actively protect those rights and bring to justice every person who violates them. Without exception.