Justice pending for molested kids

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After a gap of seven years, Mary Therese McCormack and Catherine Dunleavy have come to Kochi again seeking justice for a bunch of boys, aged between four and 15, who were sexually harassed by a man in Kumbalangi.

It was in 2005, after a recruitment drive for nurses to McCormack’s clinic, that she was first approa-ched by one Brother Antony Thareparambil, seeking aide for his orphanage and school at Kumbalangi.

Convinced by his acts of charity, McCormack funded the orphanage Kripalayam and constructed the Little Flo-wer English Medium School at Kalathara.

McCormack says she fou-nd out later that there was something fishy about the functioning of the orphanage. “I received complaints about Antony sexually and physically harassing the kids at the orphanage.

I also conducted an audit at the school and the orphanage, only to find out that 52,000 euros were missing from the aide I provided”, she said.

Following detailed investigations, McCormack found that Antony’s ‘brotherhood’ had not been conferred by the church and it was very much an act of self-anointed status, to win the confidence of the people.

The Cochin Diocese also stated that the church had no connections whatsoever, with him. However, McCormack says one Fr Josey Kandanuthura had once accompanied Antony to Dublin in 2008 to pick up a cheque for 20,000 euros.

After McCormack complained about Antony’s wrongdoings, he was arrested in 2010. He was remanded for 59 days and released later on bail.

Following the controversies, T.P.Suresh Babu, the assistant educational officer of Mattancherry had reported to the education department that the school was functioning illegally.

Though two years have almost gone by, the school still functions at Kalathara under Antony’s administration and this is precisely why the Irish women are back in Kochi demanding that the school be closed.

Seventy-year-old McCor-mack says she is not interested in the school’s property where the institution and the orphanage are located.

But the diocese should take over the scho-ol, she insists. “All we want is justice for the boys at Kripalayam. They should be protected from all forms of abuse”, she said.

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