Sex abuse victims Collins and Madden to get merit awards
DUBLIN CLERICAL sex abuse victims Andrew Madden and Marie Collins have been named The Humbert Summer School 2010 outstanding merit award winners. They will be presented with the awards in August at the school’s annual meeting in Ballina, Co Mayo.
Announcing the awards and this year’s programme, Humbert School director John Cooney said yesterday that Ms Collins and Mr Madden “had proved themselves to be inspirational figures who had spoken courageously in public about their childhood ordeals, and were to the forefront in calling for change in Irish society and Church.”
In a statement yesterday, Mr Madden said he was “delighted and honoured” at the news. He said it was “over 15 years since I first went public about my experience of child sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest, something that was very difficult for me to do at that time.”
His explained that his primary motivation in speaking out was “my concern for the safety, welfare and protection of children who were not being protected from adults known to some authorities to be a danger. Though I believe many children are safer today because there is more general awareness of risk there is still an enormous amount of work to do,” he said.
The 24th Humbert Summer School will be held at venues in Ballina, Killala, Lacken and Kilcummin Co Mayo, from August 19th to 22nd.
Debates this year will be on “Catholic Church reform, the Ryan and Murphy reports”, “A new constitution for 21st century Ireland”, and “Can the EU survive the euro crisis”.’
Taking part in political debates will be Labour’s Joan Burton, Senator Eugene Regan and MEP Jim Higgins. The Bishop’s stock address this year will be by Bishop Richard Henderson, who will speak on “Post-Bloody Sunday inquiry: an exciting vista.’