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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Sacristan of Armagh Cathedral, Gary McGuirk, accepts People’s Petition from Sean Hillen.
# Petition
Petition calling for resignation of Cardinal Brady delivered to his office
The petition, which was signed by 500 people, was launched in late May in Falcarragh and signed by people from the wider Donegal area as well as surrounding counties.

A PETITION CALLING for the resignation of Cardinal Seán Brady was delivered to his office this week.

The people’s petition was launched in west Donegal in May and attracted almost 500 signatures.

The petition, which requests the resignation of Cardinal Brady, was delivered this week to his central office in Armagh, seat of the Primate of All Ireland. The people behind the petition were volunteers from the local area of Falcarragh, as well as members of Fios, a community training group.

Seán Hillen, one of the people behind the petition, told TheJournal.ie that they were very happy with the number of people who signed the petition, particularly as it is a rural area. He said it was a reflection of the frustration that people felt about the situation.

Hillen said he hoped the petition would add to a “cumulative effect” that could lead to a change of personnel at the top of the Catholic Church in Ireland and also a change in policy.

A spokesperson from Cardinal Brady’s office could not be reached yesterday evening.

Petition

The petition has been signed by people in Falcarragh, nearby towns such as Gortahork and Dunfanaghy, as well as by persons in the wider Donegal area such as Letterkenny, Milford and Ballybofey.

It has also been signed by people from counties including Dublin, Galway and Belfast, while an online version of the petition attracted signatories from places such as Sydney, New York and Paris.

The petition was started following revelations in a BBC This World documentary about Brady’s role in an inquiry into sexual abuse by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

The organisers said that when the petition was handed in, the church representative there declined to make any comment, saying the Cardinal was “extremely busy” with the Eucharistic Congress, as was his diocesan secretary Rev Michael Toner.

A formal invitation has gone out to the Archbishop to travel to Donegal and see some of the places where sexual abuse of children has taken place and talk to some of the abused.

Locals

Some local people have said they believe that the parish house where jailed paedophile priest Eugene Green abused some of the children in the Gortahork area should be demolished.

They said this should happen because of what it symbolised and because it made healing more difficult for local people who had been abused as children and still live in the area.

Tony McFadden, who signed the People’s Petition, said:

I spoke several times to Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, about this. At first, he told me he had no power to do this and that such a decision had to be made by the local parish priest, that he could not interfere in such matters. Then later he said the church had no money.

Martin Gallagher, one of the children sexually abused by Green in Gortahork and a signatory of the petition, said he believed Brady is not morally fit to lead the Eucharistic Congress.

“He should do the right thing and resign. If he doesn’t then he is ignoring the opinions of ordinary Christian people.”

Read: Brendan Boland: My healing won’t begin until Brady resigns>

Read: Parents should have been warned: Cardinal Seán Brady>

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