George Pell (The Pope’s money man): Cardinal found guilty of sexual offences in Australia

George Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of such crimes

Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexual offences in Australia, making him the highest-ranking Catholic figure to receive such a conviction.

Pell abused two choir boys in the rooms of a Melbourne cathedral in 1996, a jury found. He had pleaded not guilty.

The verdict was handed down in December, but it could not be reported until now due to legal reasons.

Pell is due to be sentenced on Wednesday. His lawyers say they will appeal against the conviction.

As Vatican treasurer, the 77-year-old cardinal is one of the Church’s most powerful officials.

His trial was heard twice last year because a first jury failed to reach a verdict.

A second jury unanimously convicted him of one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.

The Catholic Church worldwide has in recent years faced a damaging series of allegations relating to sex abuse by priests, and claims that these cases were covered up.

Pell’s case has drawn huge interest at a time when the Pope is attempting to address the scandals, including by holding a four-day summit in the past week.

What did the court hear?
Pell was in his first year as archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 when he found the boys in the rooms of a cathedral following a mass, the jury was told.

After telling them they were in trouble for drinking communion wine, Pell forced each boy into indecent acts, the court heard.

Pell’s case has drawn huge attention around the world

The court heard testimony from one of the victims. The other victim is no longer alive.

A jury rejected an argument by Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter QC, that the allegations were fantasies contrived by the victims.

What has Pell said?
He denied all allegations against him, saying in 2017: “I am innocent of these charges – they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

He has been on an extended leave of absence from the Vatican amid the court proceedings in Melbourne.

Why was the case kept secret?
Last May, a judge handed down a legal order which prevented any reporting of Pell’s trial and conviction.

It was designed to prevent a separate trial from being influenced by the first trial.

But the later trial – which involved accusations against Pell dating to the 1970s – will no longer go ahead, after prosecutors dropped all charges.

This publication ban – known as a suppression order – was unsuccessfully challenged by Australian media outlets, who argued that reporting about the case was in the public interest.

Why Pell’s conviction was kept a secret

With many thanks to: BBC News for the original story

 

As promised, this mural has been created at Brock Way car park, (behind Doutta Gala Hotel) Kensington, Melbourne, Australia.

While painting it, some passers by were very happy to see it, and recognised the person in the image because they’d been following the news around Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory and the massacre of Gazans. This mural is a dedication to the people of Palestine as well as others around the world who understand that if you’re treated like you don’t exist by mainstream media, and the most powerful military forces in the world strategically seek to gradually annihilate you, you will fight back with whatever means you have.

The text on the mural reads:
“Palestinian Fadi Abusalah lost his legs after an Israeli air strike destroyed his home in 2014………………In May 2018, he was shot by an IDF sniper and lost his life”.
.
.
#JerusalemIsTheCapitalOfPalestine #freepalestine🇵🇸 #marchofreturn2018 #apartheidwall #fadiabusalah #freeahedtamimi #politicalmurals #vantrudd #kensingtonflats #gazamassacre #apartheidisrael
@mondoweiss @electronicintifada

With many thanks to: Van T Rudd for the origional story.

Remembering Óglach Mary McGlinchey brutally murdered 31 years ago today.

Mary McGlinchey leaving the special criminal court Dublin 1985 with Paddy Kennelly and Liam Casey. Mary was brutally murdered two years later, thirty one years ago today.

With many thanks to the: James Connolly Association Sydney, Australia.

On a cold overcast New Year’s Day in 1957 an IRA unit launched an ill-fated attack on an RUC barracks, sparking a bloodly battle that has reached almost mythological status in Irish history.

Limerick man Sean South (28) and 20-year-old Fergal O’Hanlon, from Monaghan, had been members of the 14-strong IRA unit, led by Sean Garland, that set out that morning in an attempt to storm the Brookeborough RUC barracks in the Co Fermanagh village.

The assault had been planned as part of Operation Harvest – the IRA’s Border Campaign between 1956 and 1962, which intended that flying columns would cross the border from the Republic and attack military and infrastructure targets within Northern Ireland.

An IRA document found in 1956 stated that the aim of the campaign was to “break down the enemy’s administration in the occupied area until he is forced to withdraw his forces”.

IRA members had travelled from as far afield as Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway and Limerick to take part in the New Year’s Day assault. But their plan to bomb the barracks went dramatically wrong.

In his book Sean South of Garryowen, author Des Fogerty says that about a week earlier the RUC had received intelligence that a border station would be attacked. Officers at Brookeborough were well-armed while the station had been sandbagged and equipped with a radio telephone to call for reinforcements if needed. The fateful gun battle began within seconds of an RUC officer discovering by chance the IRA man Phil O’Donoghue attempting to lay a bomb at the barracks door. Two devices failed to detonate and a grenade bounced off the barracks and injured O’Donoghue instead.

Seven men were injured in the attack. Five would survive but Sean South had received a fatal wound to the lower back while Fergal O’Hanlon was bleeding badly after being struck in the legs.

The unit fled the scene, taking temporary shelter in a cowhouse where O’ Hanlon lay dying. It is likely that South was already dead.

The survivors eventually managed to make their way back across the border to a farmhouse.

The wounded were later taken to hospital while the others were arrested.

An inquest would find that South had been beyond help when the unit had entered the cowhouse but that O’Hanlon’s life could have been saved by first aid – a finding that has been disputed over the decades.

Sean South had lived a quiet but industrious life with his mother and two brothers in Limerick before the raid.

His brother Ger, aged 21 at the time of the Brookeborough attack, recalls how the killing of the man they had known as a hard-working timber yard clerk, scout leader and Irish-language enthusiast had a lasting effect on the family.

“We had all been unaware of the depth of his involvement in the IRA at the time,” Ger South said.

“We first learned of what was happening shortly after he went to the north and used me as a conduit for communicating with the family. We realised that he had been working away while training with the IRA in the mid-west.

“We’ll never be fully sure what motivated him to take the line he did. We lived together. We slept in the same bed. We were very close. But when he was away from here nobody would know where he was. He was obviously out training.

“He’d always loved books and would buy some every week when he got his wages.

“It was after his death that we looked at what he’d been reading and got some insight into what he was thinking.

“There were books on economics, how wealth was dispersed in society, the Irish language and Irish organisations.”

Ger South remembers that his brother had “seen a lot of life” in the years before his death. He had joined the FCA (An Forsa Cosanta Aitiuil or army reserve) and An Rialt, an Irish-speaking wing of the Legion of Mary. As a scout leader, he had encouraged local youths to speak Irish.

“But after Sean died there were a lot of changes. Our house had always been full of chat and craic but my mother Mary refused to live there and we moved to a corporation flat. There were too many memories.”

Over the decades, Ger South has heard “all strands of the republican movement” claim they would have had his brother’s support.

He remains convinced Sean would not have taken his decision to join the IRA lightly.

“He would never do anything in a foolish or haphazard way,” he said.

“Everything was thought through. He obviously had studied [the situation in the north] to the extent he felt it was the only thing to do. It annoys me when people think they know what he would or would not want today.”

Fergal O’Hanlon had worked as a clerk and local authority draughtsman. He spent his spare time going to dances and playing Gaelic football and handball in his native Monaghan.

His sister Padraigin Ui Mhurchadha, aged 15 at the time of his death, describes him as a “wonderful son and brother” who had many friends and was “great to everybody in the family”.

While the South family had been taken by surprise at news of Sean’s IRA activities, the O’Hanlons had been been brought up in a “very republican house”.

“He would have grown up with Irish as his first language. We lived in a border county so we were very aware about what was happening in the six counties. We knew that Catholics were enduring terrible intimidation and suffering.

“Although I was young and it wouldn’t really have been discussed in front of me, I would have sensed that Fergal was involved in the [border campaign] but we believe [Brookeborough] was his first military activity.”

Ms Ui Mhurchadha, a Sinn Féin Monaghan town councillor, had been visiting a relative’s house when the radio reported that two men had been killed in the north.

“We had known Fergal was away because he had said goodbye to us all. He had taken his leave of my mother Alice and when we heard the news she felt straight away he had been killed.

“The next morning we were asked by the gardai to go to Monaghan Hospital and were told by the men being treated there that Fergal was dead.

“I remember all the sounds – the knock on the door by the guards, Daddy telling Mammy, her crying.

“He was a month off 21. We were very proud of Fergal. He had been fighting for Ireland but we were heartbroken when he died.

“We received many many visitors, letters and telegrams of support. It was incredible. Thousands attended the funeral. Fergal and Sean’s deaths had caught the imagination of the whole country.”

Crowds lined the route to the border to pay a final tribute to South and O’Hanlon as their bodies were carried from Enniskillen to the cathedral in Monaghan, where they lay in state overnight. Thousands more attended the funerals in Monaghan and Limerick.

With many thanks to the: James Connolly Association, Australia.

Joe Carter International Brigadista, trade unionist and wharfie was born at Port Hacking and later moved to Lithgow.

Joe Carter Spanish International Brigadista.

His early working life was spent as a roustabout and bush worker around Moree. During the Depression he spent time in the unemployed camps at Mungindi and Lithgow.

He joined the Communist Party at Lithgow and soon after moved to Port Kembla where he worked in the coke ovens and on the waterfront.

Carter paid his own fare to Spain to join the International Brigade where he fought at Ebro.

At the end of the Spanish Civil War he returned to Australia and initially worked to raise money for Spanish relief.

His later working life was spent largely as a waterside worker at Port Kembla.

THE RED FLAG

The people’s flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

Look ’round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow’s vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

It waved above our infant might,
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on self and place
To cringe before the rich man’s frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

Written: 1889
Lyrics: Jim Connel

http://webpages.dcu.ie/~sheehanh/connell.htm

With many thanks to: James Connolly Association, Australia. 

Picket in support of the 5th Annual International POW Day, which was held in the Bullring on the 24th of October. This statement was read out at the picket;

image
End the Maghberry torture

Comrades, we are gathered here today to pay homage to our brave volunteers and to highlight the plight that they are currently facing as they languish in captivity. It is important to send not only our Solidarity, but also to show our defiance of British rule and continue to progress towards the United Ireland we need.

image
Comrades of RSF picketing at the Bullring in Wexford, on the 5th Annual International POW Day.

https://m.facebook.com/home.php#!/RepublicanSinnFeinWexford/photos/a.521072591308883.1073741825.412177065531770/903915233024615/?type=3

image
Comrades of RSF James Connolly Cumann in Australia on International POW Day.
image
International Prisoner of War Day of Action
image
Comrades in Gaza showing there Solidarity
image
Comrades in Solidarity also in London, England.

With many thanks to: Republican Sinn Féin Wexford:
http:// https://m.facebook.com/RepublicanSinnFeinWexford/photos/a.521072591308883.1073741825.412177065531770/903915233024615/?type=3#!/RepublicanSinnFeinWexford/