Friar to unveil art in response to clerical abuse

Fr Joe Walsh will unveil his much anticipated work of art depicting sexual abuse in the Church today Friday at 2pm in Multyfarnham Friary, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath.

The Guardian of the Friary describes his work as “a visual response to the Ryan Report”. The piece will be revealed just as another report is due out on child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland, focusing on how those in the Dublin Archdiocese responded to years of complaints. It examines abuse and allegations of abuse between January 1975 and May 2004.

The grand unveiling will also officially launch the Straying Closer to the Truth arts festival which opens at the Friary at 7pm on Friday.

All the artists and Fr Joe were invited to meet President Mary McAleese at Aras an Uachtarain yesterday, Thursday, in a bid to celebrate the festival and the Franciscan Order's 800th anniversary.

Running order for the free festival, which will have artwork on display all week, includes: Friday 7pm, official opening; Saturday morning, workshops; Saturday evening, fort building; Sunday evening, workshops; and Sunday night, the History of the Friars in Music and Poetry.

Next week kicks off on Monday with workshops running from 10am to 12pm and 2.30pm from 4.30pm. Monday night at 8pm will see a Symposium on Art and Spirituality. Further workshops are scheduled for Wednesday from 10am to 12pm and on Thursday from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and 7.30pm to 9pm.

A closing ceremony will take place on Friday, December 4 at 8pm. Workshops will be decided by the artists available and the number of those who turn up. Those who have booked in advance will be given first preference.

See for more information on the festival and artists.


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