General Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

New Scottish Census

New Scottish census records

Do you have Scottish ancestors?

Perhaps you do and you just didn't know! Search our brand new Scottish census records today and discover if you have Scottish roots.

Search Scottish Census


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Well there's a surprise

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AnnCardiff Report 7 Feb 2013 09:21

..A Catholic priest is one of two men arrested by detectives investigating allegations of historic child abuse centring around a guest house and a care home.

Reverend Tony McSweeney, 66, from Norfolk, was held along with another man aged 70 from East Sussex on suspicion of sexual offences.

The allegations are linked to Elm Guest House and the Grafton Close care home in Barnes, south west London.

A Diocese of East Anglia spokesman confirmed Revd McSweeney was arrested, and said: "The safeguarding of children and vulnerable people is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church and the Diocese is co-operating fully with the police in this investigation."

The arrests were made as part of Operation Fernbridge, which was launched after concerns were raised by MP Tom Watson.

Speaking in Parliament in October last year, he said that a file of evidence used to convict Peter Righton of importing child pornography in 1992 contained "clear intelligence" of a sex abuse gang. Mr Watson alleged that a member of the group had bragged about links with a senior aide to a former prime minister.

A spokesman for Richmond Council, which ran the care home, said: "Richmond Council considers the safeguarding of all children and young people as an utmost priority and we take any allegations of abuse very seriously. As such we are offering our full support and co-operation to the police during their investigation."

Director of the NSPCC helpline Peter Watt said: "We are assisting the police on Operation Fernbridge and are asking anyone with information to come forward. We will assist the police in gathering evidence and supporting those who come forward."

Commander Peter Spindler from the Metropolitan Police said: "This is a complex multi-agency investigation supported by the NSPCC, Ceop and Richmond Social Services involving non-recent allegations of sexual assault against children.

"It is vital that anyone who has been affected by or has information about activity in the early 1980s at the Elm Guest House, or the Grafton Close care home, in Barnes speaks to the NSPCC on their helpline on 0808 800 5000, or their local police."



JoyBoroAngel Report 7 Feb 2013 09:27

i remember in 1975
when i lived in Cardiff
the Bishop of Llandaff been exsposed as a child abuser
so nothing suprises me now :-( :-(


AnnCardiff Report 7 Feb 2013 09:27

me neither - I well recall that too Joy

♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 7 Feb 2013 12:07

A few priests are accused... it is BIG news

Thousands of Parents & other family members/friends are accused every year... it is not made public or not as widespread.

Although ANY child abuse is very wrong, as is the abuse of the elderly, I do feel that more is made about them being priests than the fact that they are paedophiles. There are many other people in positions of trust that fail miserably, so why pick on members of a church? Is it the acts or religion being attacked?
How come the other man accused in this case was NOT named?


Cynthia Report 7 Feb 2013 12:20

That's very true Carol and why was his past occupation not mentioned? The media always seem to jump in gleefully when a man of the cloth is accused.

If say, he had been a teacher or an accountant, would people then focus on the fact that ALL teachers or accountants are possible paedophiles? Would the education authorities or the ACCA be called to account for the behaviour of one of their members?

As with others, I am disgusted and appalled when priests are found guilty of atrocious acts against children but I am also disgusted when people tend, by insinuation, to tar everyone of that profession with the same brush.


Susan10146857 Report 7 Feb 2013 15:54

Not all Uncles are paedophiles, but some are. Not all priests are paedophiles, some are. Not all should be tarred with the same brush.


JoyBoroAngel Report 7 Feb 2013 15:58

where on this thread have all priests
been painted with the same brush have i missed something???
all child abuse is wrong no matter who does it :-( :-(


Susan10146857 Report 7 Feb 2013 16:04

the OP seemed to insinuate that Joy. sorry if it wasn't meant to and I took it the wrong way. just fed up with The Catholic Church getting hammered all the time. My Opinion of course Those Priests who Abuse their positions deserve all they get as does anyone who is a Paedophile.

Perhaps the OP meant something other than a sarcasm about priests in general....if so I would love to know what.


Guinevere Report 7 Feb 2013 16:07

If the accused man had been a teacher the press would have made just as much fuss.

It's because members of those 2 professions in particular are more likely to be trusted by their victims which makes abuse easier.

And, of course, the catholic church has a history of covering up child abuse so maybe the press think this may have happened here.


JoyBoroAngel Report 7 Feb 2013 16:19

sorry i didnt read it that way
but now see it could be read a little that way
which i dont think was intended
anybody in a position of trush that abuses that trust is a scumbag
no matter what job they do :-( :-(


BarbinSGlos Report 7 Feb 2013 16:24

It used to shock me that priests had been named, but not anymore. Like Ann stated....... No surprise anymore. Same as celebrities, no surprise anymore.

To hear of people in the church who preach to their followers about loving and caring for their fellow man and get caught for atrocities, sickens me to the core

Nuns who we hear, beat defenceless children in their care. Then pray to their God, I just don't get it.

I dont paint everyone with the same brush, how terrible living your life like that.


AnnCardiff Report 7 Feb 2013 16:24

usually people in a position of trust, whether it be the leader of some group or other or a trusted relative


Kay???? Report 7 Feb 2013 16:40

Well its like this isnt it ,most other men havnt taken a solem vow to remain a virgin like RC priests,most RC Priests condem homosexuallity and anyone who is an active gay, they are amongst the most hypocritical people of the cloth.


Susan10146857 Report 7 Feb 2013 16:49

Some may be Kay, but not all.


GinN Report 7 Feb 2013 19:44

It's just got me wondering, have there been any instances of abuse by nuns in convent boarding schools for girls?


Cynthia Report 7 Feb 2013 21:12

Sadly yes Geordie.

If you google 'child abuse by.....' a whole stream of links comes up....parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, politicians, witchcraft etc.

The NSPCC also has statistics on various aspects of abuse.


MrDaff Report 7 Feb 2013 22:21

In answer to the question 'why hasn't the other man been named', it will be for legal reasons - gosh, he may even be innocent, so put the ropes away until the police have finished their investigation.


GinaS Report 7 Feb 2013 22:31

For cruelty and then to prayer - check out the Report on the Magdaline Laundries
by Dr. McAleese, issued a couple of days ago.