Waterford Council has called on the Justice Minister to immediately start the Commission of Inquiry into matters surrounding the crimes of paedophile Bill Kenneally.
In an emotionally charged meeting in Dungarvan last evening, the cross-party motion was passed unanimously.
The three survivors in attendance received a standing ovation and councillors lined up to shake hands with them.
We are all humbled and emotional after meeting @WaterfordCounci tonight. Sincere thanks to everyone who attended. We were genuinely moved by the reaction of all to us. Much appreciated.
— Colin Power (@ColinPower71) January 11, 2018
Charlie Flanagan put a halt to the inquiry, which was promised last May, citing legal concerns last week.
Declan Clune of Sinn Féin brought the motion to the chamber:
“Mayor this motion is about justice for the survivors of the systematic torture and sexual abuse carried out on them by convicted paedophile Bill Kenneally. There remain serious questions to be answered to ascertain why Keneally was free for almost four decades to prey on young boys and also questions remain about the subsequent investigation and why crucial evidence, including a videotape of Kenneally abusing a victim, was not submitted during the trial”.
Independent Cllr Mary Roche seconded the motion. She revealed that one of the five men who waived their anonymity to highlight this case is her brother-in-law Kevin Keating: “it has been a very traumatic couple of years not just in the family but much more so for the victims”.
Pleased and emotional after the motion in support of the victims of B Kenneally passed unanimously @WaterfordCounci in the presence of 3 survivors @ColinPower71 @PaulWal81713528 @jason41657071 I hope @CharlieFlanagan will take action. Words are cheap. #Waterford @Declan_Clune
— Mary Roche #repealthe8th (@maryroche) January 11, 2018
One of the survivors, Paul Walsh, spoke afterwards about what the motion meant to him.
“It was very emotional, when they all stood up to give us a clap and came over to shake hands to say how brave we were, we didn’t really think so all along, but when it hits you in the face like that it was overwhelming. It was heart warming to see the support that was there.”