Sunday, 10 February 2019


Mont Orgeuil Castle
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I am very proud of that photo of Mont Orgeuil which I took in Jersey (CI) in 1961. It's not perfect. This is the digital age where you can see your results as you go along and correct any mistakes. In those days you worked out what you thought was the appropriate exposure and prayed to the God of the Celluloid that you were right. You found out soon enough when your film came back in the post from Hemel Hempstead.

I was attracted to Mont Orgeuil because it was an imposing building overlooking Gorey harbour and it was floodlit at night.

To me then, Jersey was a romantic location with its Jersey cows (whose milk carried a premium from Hughes Bros. dairies in Dublin), its Jersey Royals (potatoes to you) and its French patois, reflected in names all over the place. It had been occupied by the Germans in WWII and many of their efforts to fortify the island, to ensure that this British trophy remained a part of Hitler's dominion, can still be seen all over the island.

At that time, my only connection with Jersey was that I was there, but over time elements of Jersey history, and life in general, threw up other connections, however tenuous these may be.

Major La Chaussée

I lived in Ballybrack/Killiney for about twenty years and took an interest in the local history. A character who popped up in 1797 was French Royalist, Major La Chaussée. He surveyed Killiney Bay for the British military with a view drawing up a plan for its defence against an expected French invasion. You can read about him here.

He went on from there to act as an intermediary between the British authorities and Royalist French rebels attempting to overthrow the post-Revolution French state. In this he had extensive dealings with Philippe d'Auvergne in Jersey.

Source: Gorey Castle, by Major N V I Rybot, DSO,1962 edition

You will see from the above extract that Philippe occupied the Corbelled Tower of Mont Orgeuil Castle at the time.

Source: Gorey Castle, by Major N V I Rybot, DSO,1962 edition

The tower is the dark area in the top right hand corner of this sketch. I have included this particular sketch as it gives an idea of the vastness of the place. You may need to click on the sketch to get a better view. The sketch is an aerial view from the south.

Source: Gorey Castle, by Major N V I Rybot, DSO,1962 edition

The tower (C) is more clearly seen in a sketch of part of the castle, viewed from the north-east.

This may help.

Source: Gorey Castle, by Major N V I Rybot, DSO,1962 edition

This window, which goes way back, would have had a nice view over the bay. But by the time Philippe arrived it had been blocked up with the construction of the Newer Keep. Panelling put up in the recess, when Philippe moved in, was poor compensation for the missing view.

Colonel Benjamin Fisher

This is not the only connection between Mont Orgeuil and Killiney in the Napoleonic era. Col. Benjamin Fisher, who was responsible for constructing the Martello Towers in Killiney Bay and the rest of Dublin Bay, came to Dublin around 1800 direct from Jersey.

Fisher was also a painter and this is his take on Mont Orgeuil.

Mauyen Keane

I had been working with Dermot Keane in the Department of Finance for a good while before I discovered that his aunt had been a nurse in Jersey in the early 1940s. She had arrived a relatively short while before the Germans. When those on the Island were given an opportunity to evacuate to the British mainland in advance of the German invasion in 1940, Mauyen Keane opted to stay on.

Mauyen and Dieter in Jersey

As it turned out she fell in love with, Dieter, a German soldier-doctor and followed him back to Germany where they married. This was still during the war. When the war was over, she suffered the privations of the German people, but eventually the couple managed to make their way back to Ireland.

In 1984 Mauyen published a book on her adventures. Dieter, meanwhile, had changed his name to George, to lower his German profile.

Mauyen was not only Dermot's aunt, she was the mother of Gabriel Rosenstock and grandmother to Mario.

Haut de la Garenne

Back to my photo of Mont Orgeuil. Little did I realise when I was taking the photo that some distance behind me was the children's home, Haut de la Garenne, where many children were then suffering appalling physical and sexual abuse.

The area around where the photo was taken from is today cluttered with signs which the local paper suggested should be tidied up in the interest of tourism. The sign in the middle is not one of theirs but is my response to the authorities trying to put the appalling atrocities of the children's home behind them without anyone being properly held to account.


Bergerac (John Nettles) with Haut de la Garenne in the background

In the BBC drama series "Bergerac" (1981-1991), about a Jersey detective in the Bureau des Étrangers, the bureau's headquarters were originally located in Haut de la Garenne. Although there were still children around at that stage, as the home didn't close until 1983 after the beginning of the series, there was no perceptible adverse comment at the time.
One of the main locations of the series achieved later notoriety. The "Bureau des Étrangers" was located at Haut de la Garenne, a former children's home which in February 2008 became the focus of the Jersey child abuse investigation 2008. The building, on Mont de la Garenne overlooking Mont Orgueil and the Royal Bay of Grouville, ceased being a children's home in 1983 and was re-opened as Jersey's first and only youth hostel.

In more recent times, with an increased awareness of what had gone on at the home, both through the 2008 police investigation mentioned above and the more recent "Independent" "Care" Inquiry, a rerun of the original series by BBC was stopped in its tracks.

There is now talk of a remake. Let me be mischievous here.

Why doesn't John Nettles, now a bit long in the tooth to play a young Bergerac, play the role of Graham Power, Jersey's former police chief who was sacked (suspended) as part of a plan to pull down the shutters on child, and other, abuse which was rampant on the Island.

There might even be a part for Nettles's daughter who served as Information Commissioner on the Island, and who was critised, not just by whistleblowers and bloggers, but also by the official inquiry itself. Perhaps she might appropriately play the Queen (ERII), mistress of the Island, responsible for its governance, and deaf to the pleas of those seeking to reform its corrupt oligarchy.

Original post here

Monday, 21 January 2019


Robert MacRae - Jersey's Attorney General
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This is a story, staggering in its simplicity but shrouded in mystery nonetheless.

Candidates for the Jersey parliament (States of Jersey) are supposed to submit their expenses returns by a certain date following the election. In the past, compliance was seriously deficient, so the Attorney General sought tougher legislation with significant fines and possible loss of seat for successful candidates. This legislation was passed by the States a few years ago.

You would imagine that this would have ensured 100% compliance, particularly among successful candidates. Well, following the 2018 election the Attorney General recently decided to prosecute three candidates for non compliance. Two of these were successful in the elections and risked losing their seats.

Meanwhile a former States member, but unsuccessful candidate this time round, decided to do a bit of investigating and found that half the States members, including the Council of Ministers, were non compliant.

As soon as this was revealed the Attorney General abandoned the existing prosecutions.

This has raised a number of questions:
  • Why did the AG decide to prosecute?
  • How did he pick the particular three to prosecute?
  • Was he not aware of the extent of non-compliace?
  • What was the real reason he failed to prosecute other non-compliant candidates?
  • And why, precisely, did he abandon the prosecutions
Now, it could be argued that this is a minor infringement and has been tolerated for years but, if the AG decided to proseute anybody, he must have considered it a serious offence. So why the selectivity?

Despite this being a serious constitutional crisis, Jersey's main stream media have ignored it until their feet were put to the fire, and ITV and BBC (local branches) have now interviewed the researcher, Nick Le Cornu, and the blogger who published his research, Mike Dunn (alias Tom Gruchy).

Meanwhile another blogger, Niall McMurray (alias Voice for Children) has videoed the media interviews and these will ultimately be compared with the transmitted versions to see how the media are handling this. Jersey's main stream media are very, very, slow to criticise the authorities particularly on any matters related to the good, or otherwise, governance of the Island.

Nick Le Cornu

You can hear Mike's interview with Nick here.

Original post here.

Sunday, 6 January 2019


Archbishop Welby's New Year Tweet
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Into my mailbox came a long email from Jayne Harris. For a moment I'd forgotten her real name and wondered what it might be about.

Then I remembered. Jayne formerly went under the handle HG and she was the lady, who, coming from an already troubled family background, had been abused twice over in Jersey (CI) in 2010 and had, since then, been condemned to live a most appalling life on the mainland.

The occasion of her email was a remark by Church of England's Archbishop Justin Welby in the course of his New Year message and which you see reproduced in his tweet above.

Openness my arse, if you'll pardon the crudity. Jayne's story is testimony to the absolute reverse in her case. While she had been abused before coming to Jersey and after her brutal deportation off the Island, it is her experience in Jersey that I am most familiar with and it is enough to give you a flavour of this poor woman's misfortunes.

Briefly, this is the sequence:
a churchwarden in Jersey abused a vulnerable young lady. When she complained to the Dean he effectively ignored her complaint and when she made a fuss he had her arrested. She was then deported from Jersey and dumped penniless on the mainland where she was mainly homeless for the following three years. The then Bishop (Scott-Joynt) was a waste of space but when the new bishop (Dakin) came in he suspended the Dean. His feelings in the matter are no doubt to his credit. However, as he was badly advised and exceeded his powers, he had to reinstate the Dean who immediately, and falsely, claimed that he had been exonerated of the bad behaviour of which he had been accused. Relations between the Bishop and the Dean deteriorated to the point that the Bishop (Dakin) dumped the Dean on another Bishop (Willmott) who is now supposed to "supervise" him.
The critical pivot in this story is the then Dean of Jersey, Bob Key. He was in charge and he fell down on two counts. The churchwarden was under his jurisdiction and this same churchwarden was not supposed to be unchaperoned in the company of a woman. This stricture was ignored in Jayne's case and when she complained about the churwarden's inappropriate behaviour he was not appropriately dealt with and she was not taken seriously.

A factor in the Jersey church's inadequate treatment of the churchwarden was probably not unrelated to his being the brother of a Jersey VIP, who had, incidentally himself been accused of abuse and whose identity the Jersey Abuse Inquiry had tried to hide (but that's another botched story).

You can read more background on the saga here and here.

Anyway Jayne's current letter is taking Welby up on his offer of openness and spelling out for him the consequence that should follow if he really means it. I have reproduced a few critical passages below and you can keep an eye on the news to see if there is any follow up. I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Jayne's long letter was addressed to the Jersey administration, parliamentarians, Deanery and Press. She also circulated a copy to three bloggers, including myself.
And as the Archbishop spoke about Openness, then it is assumed that he is resigning for his actions in my case and handing himself in to the police, it would be assumed he would expect Bishops Willmott, Dakin, Hancock and Butler to do the same, along with those in the Jersey Deanery who destroyed me. Good. This means it is time for an independent investigation into my case, from Bob Key to the police and the conflicted dignitaries to the subversive and openly criminal safeguarding partnership.
I would like to remind the Bishop of Dover, Diocese of Canterbury and Deaneries of Jersey and Guernsey that, a decade on, there has been no investigation into my case and no apology for the openly conflicted million pound whitewash of my case by John Gladwin, Heather Steel, Jan Korris and Jersey Safeguarding Partnership from their conflicted positions.
There has also been no criminal or disciplinary action against Philip and William Bailhache, Ian LeMarquand, Ian Gorst, Bridget Shaw ...
Making me out to be mad has very very seriously affected my mental health and added to the already unhealable and eventually fatal harm to me, the church are archaic in behaving in such an appalling manner when faced with autism and trauma, so I am glad that the disgraced and soon to be imprisoned archbishop is agreeing to be open, he is stating that it is time for Butler Sloss and Bursell, Steel and Gladwin and the rest to be exposed for their criminal corruption and abuse of power, systemic whitewash of high profile cases, and face sentences, of course that is what he means by being open and honest, he means Shaw and Bailhache, Birt and Steel and the rest, right down to Satan's Priest, Mike Taylor, whose actions in facilitating abuse and vilifying me would have cost him his job a decade ago in a normal organization. Good. I am glad I will die knowing that these wicked people will be punished.
There are quite a few people in those extracts who Jayne implicates in her extended abuse, but in my view it was the Dean's involvement which set off the disgraceful train of events which led to where Jayne is now. She had finally settled in Jersey, was involved in the local community, and had a potentially bright future ahead of her, that is until the Dean panicked in a most un-Christlike manner.

The Dean has left Jersey and has now been made the Church of England's Global Evangeliser promoting a programme called Thy Kingdom Come (or as Stuart might paraphrase it There's a Train Coming Down the Track). In this role he has been happily travelling the world.

I caught up with him giving a pompous interview to the New Zealand church and it's here if you can stomach it without throwing up.

The (former) Dean uses a very interesting phrase in the course of the interview when referring to his time in Jersey. He says
"... after I stopped being her majesty's Dean of Jersey a year ago ..."
Not the bishop but the Queen herself. Apart from the name-dropping involved, this carefully modulated reference cleverly conceals the fact that his bishop suspended him for his mistreatment of Jayne but it was Her Majesty herself that got him reinstated.

This resulted from a constitutional quirk. Jersey is a Crown Dependency directly answerable to the Monarchy and the Monarch herself, who is also head of the Church of England, had also effectively appointed the Dean. He actually had a (non-voting) seat in the Jersey parliament.

So, short of the Queen sacking him he could hang in there and he shamelessly did. The bishop then had to re-instate him and that was trumpeted by the local mafia as him being "exonerated" and the half-apology he had previously offered was wiped clean off the slate.

So it is quite sickening to see him pull the Holy Joe on a poor unsuspecting New Zealand church and interviewer.

Anyway, back to the letter. I have not been following Jayne's plight for some time, principally since we fell out a few years back. But her awful situation, to judge from the letter, has just been getting worse and the fact that she is still in the land of the living, she herself puts down to her being a tough cookie at the end of the day. We should not forget that many survivors do eventually throw in the towel and become simply victims passing seamlessly into the land of the willfully forgotten.

Lest I get attacked for naïvely taking her side, I have to say that she can be awkward, including for her champions, but this is not an excuse for mistreating a human being, particularly one whose awkwardness is born out of trauma. And I think I can claim some objectivity from having been in both her good and bad books over the years.

For her, I wish justice and nothing less. As for the Dean ...

I'm sure the evangelysing/proselytising former Dean does not lose any sleep from a fear of meeting the same fate as John The Baptist, so I'll leave you with a final meditation on this weak and venal man. With due apologies to Charlie Hebdo which so often gets so much right.

Original post here.