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John O'Donnell Photo by: Donegal Democrat

Donegal abuse victim vows to hunger strike if report not published

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John O'Donnell Photo by: Donegal Democrat

A  man sexually abused as a child in Donegal will go on hunger strike outside the bishop’s residence if the report on abuse in the church in Donegal is not published. The report has been delayed for some time.

John G. O’Donnell now 55, was badly abused by two men for six years between the ages of 9 and 15. One man was head of the local church choir.

He told  the Donegal Democrat: “when I met the Bishop in August, I told him to his face that I was prepared to on hunger strike over this issue. If the full, undiluted report is not released in the next few months, I will go on hunger strike.”

“The longer the report is delayed, the longer we are left without answers and the longer we are left suffering.

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“What is wrong that we can’t even get an apology? Church officials say they ‘understand our suffering’ but they can not even begin to know the pain that we have endured and continue to endure.

“We have been let down by both the Church and the State. When we tried to come forward to help others, we were the ones branded as evil - in my case by both clergy and guards.

“Even recently, when my story was told in a tabloid newspaper, an elderly lady stopped me in the street in Falcarragh. She asked me was I John O’Donnell. When I told here I was, she said I was ‘nothing but an Anti-Christ".

“The truth must come out, so that at least people can understand what really happened.”

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