Commentary on Lourdes Report

From Sarah Carey’s valuable reflection on the meaning of the Neary scandal

The Neary saga could only happen where an authority — be it religious, civil, medical or military — is permitted to operate without question and where professionals instinctively cover up for each other.
The young midwives who eventually complained successfully about Neary were not the first. There had been others. On each occasion, Neary’s colleagues could be counted on to reassure the complainant that everything was fine. It was Dr O’Brien, Neary’s colleague, who dismissed the matron’s attempts to raise the issue in 1979. In 1998, three outside obstetricians said Neary’s practice was legitimate. Their names don’t appear in the report.

From George Bernard Shaw:

Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.


  • copernicus says:

    Drs. Prendiville, Stuart and Murphy.

  • Abhcoide says:

    The covering up by professionals of the wrongs of colleagues is motivated in part by self-interest. If self-interest is better served by coming forward then we have a better chance or countering the tendancy of those in power to abuse it. The must be whistleblower protection legislation. There should sanction for those who fail to report wrongdoing, perhaps it could be construed as a form of facilitation. Any sanction must be imposed from without. Self-regulation by the professions serves only their more senior members at the expense of the integrity of a profession as a whole. There is great need to further de-mystify authority and undue it’s hold on the Irish psyche. Just because someone is a Dr., Lawyer, Judge, Politician, Priest etc. does not mean that they are necessarily more intelligent, moral or entitled to respect than the rest of us.

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