Thursday, August 26, 2010

Catholic Church harboured Priest at centre of Terrorist Cell

In July of 1973 three car bombs went off in the sleepy Northern Ireland village of Claudy.

The death toll was nine, including children.

Hundreds were injured.

The mastermind of this atrocity was a Northern Ireland Catholic Priest and IRA sympathiser, Fr James Chesney.

In the just released Police ombudsman’s report, 38 years after the terrorist attack, it has been revealed The Catholic Church on both sides of the Irish border knew of Chesney’s murderous role and further-more protected the priest from prosecution.

In damning revelations information has come to light that explosive traces had been found in the boot of Fr Chesney's parish car when he was stopped at an RUC checkpoint in September 1972.

When implicated Chesney gave false testimony to cover-up for himself and his co-conspirators. Similar to cases of pedophilia once ‘the heat went on’ The Catholic Church, under the auspice of it’s then head Cardinal William Conway, conspired to spirit Chesney south to a new position and out of the reaches of the authorities and justice.

The report also reveals that Chesney continued his ‘IRA activities’ in his new diocese - all with full knowledge of those in authority of The Church – who did nothing to stop him or turn him over to Police.

Not unsurprisingly The Irish Catholic Church have long refused, much to the chagrin of victims families, to release its files on their role in harbouring and aiding this terrorist in their midst.

Further proof the Irish Catholic Church knew and abetted in the deaths of eight people and their tacit support of IRA aspirations.


Anonymous said...

The police and the British Government in N. Ireland pretty much asked the Church to help shut Chesney down. Chesney denied the bombing to his superiors and the police and Government thought that arresting Chesney would inflame violence.

How does this magically translate to the Church whisking off Chesney to avoid the "the authorities and justice"?

Have you read the full Claudy Report?

- The Secretary of State approached Cardinal Conway. (4.24)

- When the Chief Constable of RUC read that Cardinal Conway suggested the possibility of transfering Chesney to Donegal, he wrote he prefered Tipparary. (4.24-25)

- Cardinal Conway had no direct jurisdiction over Fr Chesney because he was a priest under the Diocese of Derry. (4.29)

- "With regard to the role of the Catholic Church, when informed of the level of concerns others had about one of their priests, they challenged Father Chesney about his alleged activities, which he denied. In the course of this enquiry the Police Ombudsman’s investigation found no evidence of any criminal intent on the part of any Church official." (6.24)

- "The Police Ombudsman recognises the co-operation of the Catholic
Church, Government officials and the retired police officers, who
assisted with this investigation." (7.10)

You state "The report also reveals that Chesney continued his ‘IRA activities’ in his new diocese - all with full knowledge of those in authority of The Church – who did nothing to stop him or turn him over to Police."

That is not in the report at all. The closest thing to that would be section 6:12 which I quote in full -

"Father Chesney was eventually appointed to a parish in Donegal in late 1973. He was never again appointed to a parish in Northern Ireland. He is known to have regularly travelled across the border but was never arrested, questioned nor further investigated by the RUC in connection with the Claudy bombings or other terrorist activity. Father Chesney died in 1980."

I mean seriously, what did you want the Church to do? Chesney was legally innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law and it was the police's job to arrest him but the Government weren't keen on that given the violent situation. Chesney claimed he didn't do it and it's not as though the Cardinal could dob him in to the police since they were already aware of his alleged activities.

Clearly police leadership agreed with Conway's suggestion getting Chesney out of N. Ireland and away from the IRA. What more would you have Cardinal Conway do? Pop a cap in his ass perchance? Drag Chesney to the local cop shop and demand his arrest with stamped foot and stern looks despite the police leadership and Government's clear demonstration that they didn't want to?

Canterbury Atheists said...

Everyone knew Chesney did it – including his church superiors at the time – who could have at least given the victims’ families some sort of justice by defrocking him and banishing him from the faith. Instead as we saw with the kiddy-fiddlers they colluded with sympathetic and corrupt officials to protect this murdering terrorist. Further this report goes to prove the heinous links The Catholic Church on both sides of the border have with the IRA. Yes, the spineless British government was also involved but this doesn’t mitigate the role The Catholic Church played in providing sanctuary to a mass-murderer. Thanks for your insight. Paul.

Anonymous said...

You can't know Chesney did it unless you saw him do it or he had a trial and he was found guilty. If Chesney was innocent he's been denied justice. His name is now forever connected with these atrocities.

What you are suggesting is that the Catholic Church condemn a man that the police aren't even willing to arrest. That is not justice. The Church got him away from N. Ireland and he died a few years later. AFAIK there is no evidence that Chesney participated in any other criminal activity after Claudy.