‘Steps Towards Truth and Justice: Lessons from the Southern Irish Experience’
St Mary’s University College, Belfast – Friday 6th August, 1 pm
Colm O’Gorman will examine how the lessons from the southern Irish experience can best ensure proper acknowledgement and accountability for historical child abuse in and beyond church institutions. In 1998 Colm O’Gorman launched a legal case against the Catholic Church as a result of his experiences of sexual abuse at the hands of one of its priests when he was a teenager. His story, told in a BBC documentary, ‘Suing the Pope’, resulted in the resignation of the Bishop of Ferris, Dr Brendan Comiskey. Colm founded ‘One in Four’ to support women and men who have experienced sexual violence and was instrumental in the establishment of the Ferns Inquiry, the first state investigation into clerical sexual abuse in Ireland. In February 2009, Colm was appointed Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. He is also the author of the best-selling memoir, Beyond Belief.