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Premier's church abuse inquiry

Posted by: 2UE | 9 November, 2012 - 2:48 PM
Fresh claims against three most senior Catholic Church figures

A special commission of inquiry will probe allegations made by a senior police investigator into child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy in the NSW Hunter region.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says the commission will be headed by senior counsel Margaret Cunneen and will look into claims made by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox alleging cover ups by police and the Catholic Church in the Hunter.

Mr Fox has publicly challenged Mr O'Farrell to launch a royal commission, writing an open letter to the premier and criticising the state government's continued failure to launch a judicial inquiry.

Mr O'Farrell says he has full confidence in police commissioner Andrew Scipione and the police force, but the matters raised are serious.

He says the inquiry will look at any allegations of interference in relation to investigating specific pedophile activity in the Hunter.

John Stanley speaks with Joanne McCarthy, an Investigative Journalist with the Newcastle Herald. Her 6 years of investigations have done much to bring the pedophile priests to account in the media. 

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Paul Murray speaks with Nationals MP and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, a former police officer who led the watershed paedophilia investigation of priest Vincent Ryan, said it was time for Cardinal George Pell to "fall on his sword" as Archbishop of Sydney, because the church had never managed to put the interests of victims before its clergymen.

The Premier has fended off criticisms of his decision to concentrate initially only on the Hunter Region a Special Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse within th e cathlic church,

It follows a letter to the Premier from a whistle blowing policeman, Peter Fox.

Premier Barry O'Farrell has told John Stanley the inquiry will be widened if necessary.


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