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Joe Brolly: 'I Can't Understand Why Donal Óg Cusack Has Resigned And Apologised'

Joe Brolly: 'I Can't Understand Why Donal Óg Cusack Has Resigned And Apologised'
By PJ Browne Updated
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Speaking on Radio One's Today With Sean O'Rourke, Joe Brolly said that he could not understand why Donal Óg Cusack apologised over giving a character reference for Tom Humphries.

On October 14th, Cusack tweeted that he 'apologised for any hurt or offence caused by my action'. He added that it had been his 'intention to help a human in a dark place who asked me for help' along with saying he had shown a 'lack of judgment' in providing the character reference.

In addition, Cusack last night announced that he was stepping away from his role as a coach with the Clare hurlers and was also resigning from the board of Sport Ireland.

Brolly said that he did not believe Cusack had been condoning behaviour such as that of Tom Humphries.

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"I don't think that compassion can be qualified. I think of the Pope washing the feet of young offenders in an Italian prison recently, including sex offenders.

I don't think anyone is condoning paedophilia and I don't think for a second that Donal Óg was condoning paedophilia and I can't understand why he has resigned or apologised for standing by a friend."

Brolly went on to tell of someone close to him who had been severely affected by a sexually abusive priest.

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He also called for a 'measured debate' regarding the Tom Humphries case.

I think back to 2000 or whenever the News Of The World launched their 'Hunt a paedophile' campaign. They published the names and addresses of paedophiles and lynch mobs surrounded their houses and people were burned out of their homes. In fact, at one stage you had a situation where a paediatrician had to flee her home after it was surrounded by a mob.

Listening to the Joe Duffy show yesterday and some of the moral outrage that's out there, you've got to understand - I'm a criminal barrister, that the vast majority of paedophile offences are committed by close family members. By a father, sometimes by a mother, by a grandparent.

It's very, very important that these things are dealt with in a civilised way because once you hand it over to raw emotion then that's tantamount to tyranny.

There is a huge focus on the Tom Humphries case. It's a very grave offence and it will have life-long consequences for that child and he'll be punished.

We have to continue with our lives. This is just one case among thousands and thousands of similar offences that occur.

What should we do? Should the GAA announce that it's shutting down altogether? What extremes do we go to? The problem with the hurly-burly of human life is there are deviant human beings and people are going to be unfortunate to come into contact with them.

Brolly, who is a barrister, said that a situation has developed which means 'people are afraid to say anything because they don't know how society is going to react.'

I remember Michael Feeney who was a systematic predator of young boys, he was Ulster Council secretary, he used his position for 20 years to destroy countless lives but the GAA continues.

I'm an underage coach and we were fortunate to win an under-16 championship last night and we were out with 12 of the coaches. We all have to do child protection courses now.

Everyone is trying to do their best in society but you must be careful to maintain a balance and allow the courts to do their jobs and not succumb to this base instinct of outrage and revenge.

See Also: There's So Much Shame To Go Around As Tom Humphries Sentenced

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