Re-establishing St Oliver’s Conference is the only solution
In response to the article carried in the Drogheda Independent on the 30th of October 2018, I, on behalf of a number of the members of St Oliver’s Conference, which has been disbanded, would like to place the following on record.
We reject the Society’s reasoning for the disbandment of the Conference, as it conflicts with the Society’s decision to increase the catchment area of St Oliver’s prior to its cessation of activity; it also fails to address the reputational damage suffered by its members over the last 18 months which conflicts with the Society’s stated ethos.
The Society also stated that it is “normal practice” to stand down a Conference for an investigation which is contrary to its own investigative procedure which states that innocence is presumed.
We would like to underline that a number of allegations were made and the Society has confirmed that nothing was found to substantiate them.
We feel that having been accepted into the Society in verifiably good character following Garda vetting checks that our characters have suffered stigmatization only reparable through the re-establishment of the Conference which we feel would be the only adequate support and vindication from the Society.
We also feel that the needs of the Clients in our area are best served by members who have established a trust and history of support with them; this in no way diminishes the work of those who have supported them in the last 18 months.
The conference has sought the assistance of the Charity Regulator to review the number of investigations which have taken place over the last 18 months as we no longer have confidence in the Society’s ability to do this.
We feel it is also symbolically regrettable that the Conference named after a Saint so synonymous with Drogheda be disbanded.
We feel that it is imperative that the Society stand up and be counted given that one of the fundamental aims of the organization is as a champion of social justice. As in every previous communication we want to re-iterate that we wish no harm to come to the charity as a whole as it carries out a vital selfless role in our society and we feel that it is to the long term benefit of the charity to comprehensively address the issues that have arisen. Signed Noel Feeney, President, St Olivers Conference (disbanded).