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Mary McAleese's brother calls for people who knew of priest's abuse to come forward

Clem Leneghan said he does not want his story to take the spotlight away from where it belongs.

Image: WPA Pool/Getty Images

MARY MCALEESE’S BROTHER Clem Leneghan has said that he doesn’t want reports of his abuse to take the spotlight from the quest for justice against his abuser – and he wants those with knowledge of what happened to come forward.

He released a statement to the Today With Sean O’Rourke show on RTÉ Radio One this morning, in response to comments by his sister, the former President, yesterday.

In her interview with O’Rourke, McAleese said her brother was “seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finnegan”.

In a statement to the programme today, which was read out by O’Rourke, Leneghan said that it is true that he suffered psychological and physical abuse at the school, but he will not be commenting on it:

I do not wish my story to take the spotlight away from where it belongs, which is on the need for truth and justice for the many victims of Finnegan’s lifetime of criminal sexual abuse of children. I call on Karen Bradley as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to lose no time in intiativing an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse at St Colman’s College.
While Finnegan himself can no longer be called to account in the courts, I know that other adults both in St Colman’s and more broadly within the Dromore Diocese, knew of his activities and failed to act. Gentlemen, you know who you are.
On behalf of all victims of abuse of whatever form, I call on you now to come forward and tell what you knot to the PSNI. Please do it today. If you can find the courage to speak, then you may even now help bring some healing for those who continue to suffer for the crimes of Malachy Finnegan. If you choose to continue in your silence, history will not be to your memory.

Malachy Finnegan, who died in 2002, was a teacher at St Colman’s College in Newry from 1967 to 1976. Abuse claims against him were detailed in a BBC Spotlight programme in February.

McAleese said that there are “very serious questions to be asked” about what happened with Finnegan, and said that the situation “shouts for an inquiry”.

Read: Mary McAleese says her brother was ‘seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finnegan’>

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