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Churches ignored plight of Catholics

Published 08/04/2010

If the interjection by Dr Rowan Williams into the Catholic Church abuse scandal in Ireland is not to be seen as opportunistic and self serving, perhaps he can explain why he and his predecessors had been so mute on the appalling behaviour of many of the Protestant churchmen in the north of Ireland from the foundation of the northern state up to the abolition of Stormont in 1971.

Representatives of the four main Protestant churches in the south who criticised the recent budget on education stated that Protestant communities were 'shell shocked' by the discrimination displayed by the Irish Government against their schools. What a pity this indignation was not extended to their Catholic neighbours in the north who have been victims of discrimination by the state itself.

Where were these voices when decent law-abiding people like John Hume and Austin Currie were beaten by Paisleyites at Burntollet in 1968 for daring to seek civil rights. Furthermore, where were these same voices when their Catholic neighbours were denied equality in housing, jobs and votes?

TOM COOPER

Cathaoirleach

Irish National Congress

Dublin 7

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