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Malachy Finegan victim calls on Catholic Church to show 'humility'

Malachy Finegan victim Gerard Gorman has appealed to the Catholic Church to show "humility". Picture by Kieran Griffiths.
Connla Young

A man who was abused as a child by paedophile priest Malachy Finegan has urged the Catholic Church to show "humility" in its dealings with victims in a new book.

So Young: The Taking of my Life by the Catholic Church tells the powerful personal story of Gerard Gorman, who was abused by Finegan as a 12-year-old boy at St Colman's College in Newry in the early 1970s.

Originally from Newcastle in Co Down, the 63-year-old reveals the full extent of the sexual abuse inflicted on him by Finegan with the assistance of his brother Damian, who is a poet and playwright.

Read More: Malachy Finegan victim wanted to be heard by Catholic Church

A former president of St Colman's College, Finegan, who some suspect was an RUC informer, abused boys under his care.

It is believed that around 12 young boys were targeted at St Colman's by Finegan, who died in 2002, while many more were physically assaulted.

Former priest Malachy Finegan

The paedophile priest was also a parish priest of Clonduff in Hilltown in Co Down, where it is alleged he carried out further serious sexual abuse. The Catholic Church has agreed to pay significant damages to some of the victims.

In his memoir Mr Gorman speaks openly about the horrific abuse he suffered and the impact it had on his life as well as the lives of those closest to him.

'So Young: The Talking of my Life by the Catholic Church', published by The Black Staff Press, will be launched at the The Playhouse in Derry on Sunday at 3pm

The book provides a damning account of the Catholic church's approach to dealing with Finegan's case.

Sent to the elite St Colaman's as a child, Mr Gorman refused to return after his first year but was unable to reveal to his family the reason why. It was years later before the truth emerged and the cruelty inflicted on him by Finegan was exposed.

The book has received high-profile praise with Holywood actor Stephen Rea writing that it "is an inspiration for all who have suffered through the malign power of a corrupt institution".

Gerard Gorman has written a book about his experience at the hands of Malachy Finegan with his brother Damian Gorman. Picture by Kieran Griffiths

Mr Gorman reveals he met Archbishop Eamon Martin on two occasions and is said to have "time" for the leading Catholic cleric. After setting out his gruelling experience and subsequent battle with the Catholic Church Mr Gorman makes a "final appeal" to the institution through the pages of his book.

"Come down off the altar, not with words, but with manifest humility," he writes.

"Tell us, in short, that you don’t know what to do; that you’re the last people who’d know what to do, having been the source of the problem."

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