NSW Enquiry Commissioner Margaret Cunneen (Or: A Hard Day’s Fight )

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You have to feel for Margaret Cunneen. She has excellent qualifications, including a Masters Degree from the University of Sydney. She became a ministerial advisor to the NSW Attorney-General in 1977. By 1982, she was a barrister, going on to an appointment as a Crown Prosecutor in 1990. After being turned down five times straight, she was finally appointed a Senior Counsel in 2007. She is now a member of the NSW Bar Council.

She obviously is aware of the evil of pedophilia from being the prosecutor in the Robert “Dolly” Dunn case. Dunn is Australia’s most notorious pedophile.

She got a bad rap when the Court of Criminal Appeal was critical of her and fellow prosecutor  Mark Tedeschi QC over the case of  Jeffery Gilham for allegedly killing his parents and setting the family’s home on fire. The then Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicholas Cowdery QC hit back at the “unprecedented personal attacks” leveled by two of the judges.

Ms.Cunneen has been done no favours by being appointed to head the Hunter Region enquiry. It is very limited in scope, largely criticized by activists and was immediately over-shadowed by the Royal Commission.

The enquiry focuses on the Catholic Church. Her boss, NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, in his maiden speech to the Parliament, paid tribute to Fr. Finian Egan who he said “charmed his flock with his Irish wit”. In May of last year, Fr. Egan appeared in court on charges of abusing three girls and a boy, over a 15 year period. Mr. Smith will be responsible for deciding which of Ms. Cunneen’s recommendations will be implemented and which will not.

Good luck, Ms. Cunneen. You have a hard fight ahead of you!

TOMORROW: Observations on Cambodian “orphanages”

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)

 

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